When the sun rose this morning, the expectation was largely that the Flyers would most likely wait a bit longer to pare their training camp roster down from the 54 names it entered the day with. But after this morning’s practice — complete with lines that, at the time, looked like they would be used in Saturday’s preseason game against the Rangers — Alain Vigneault, clearly a bit perturbed by his team’s unimpressive performance on Thursday night in a preseason loss to the Bruins, announced that nothing that had just happened mattered at all, and that some more of the focus of the preseason was going to shift towards getting the veterans on the roster ready to roll when the regular season hits. That means less space for rookies and other long-shots, so cuts were coming.
Flyers will make massive cuts today and get down to about 30 players. AV says he’s been used to making playoffs with past teams and not playing vets much in preseason. But this team does not have that luxury. #Flyers— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) September 20, 2019
And now, we know what those cuts are. 18 players are no longer on the team’s training camp roster, as five of them were waived with the intent of sending them to Lehigh Valley while the other 13 have all been assigned directly to the Phantoms.
The following five players will be placed on waivers Saturday for the purpose of reporting to the club’s AHL Affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms:
26 - Tyler Wotherspoon (D)
39 - Nate Prosser (D)
43 - TJ Brennan (D)
51 - Kyle Criscuolo (RW)
60 - Reece Willcox (D)
The following 13 players have been assigned to the club’s AHL Affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms:
32 - Felix Sandstrom (G)
46 - Cal O’Reilly (C)
52 - Greg Carey (LW)
64 - Maksim Sushko (RW)
67 - Kirill Ustimenko (G)
70 - Gerry Fitzgerald (C)
71 - David Drake (D)
72 - David Kase (C)
75 - Pascal Laberge (RW)
76 - Isaac Ratcliffe (LW)
78 - Matthew Strome (LW)
80 - Rob Michel (D)
85 - Josh Couturier (D)
There are no real surprises on this list — it would have been a major shock to see any of these 18 players make the Flyers, and no more than maybe two or three of them at absolute most ever stood a chance to do so. Of that list, winger Isaac Ratcliffe and goaltender Felix Sandstrom are probably the biggest-name prospects of the group, but Ratcliffe always figured to be a long, long shot to make the team, and Sandstrom was destined for the AHL in what will be his first professional season in North America. Otherwise, no name here is a surprise. Perhaps David Kase, who has looked good in camp and the preseason, would’ve expected to have a slightly longer leash, but he too was always heading back to Lehigh Valley one way or the other.
These cuts leave the Flyers with 36 players on their camp roster, and you can read their names here (players listed in italics are currently injured):
Forward (21): Andy Andreoff, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Connor Bunnaman, Sean (Not Josh) Couturier, Joel Farabee, Morgan Frost, Kurtis Gabriel, Claude Giroux, Kevin Hayes, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom, Nolan Patrick, Tyler Pitlick, Michael Raffl, German Rubtsov, Chris Stewart, Carsen Twarynski, James van Riemsdyk, Jakub Voracek, Mikhail Vorobyev
Defense (11): Chris Bigras, Justin Braun, Mark Friedman, Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Samuel Morin, Phil Myers, Matt Niskanen, Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Andy Welinski
Goaltender (4): Jean-Francois Berube, Brian Elliott, Carter Hart, Alex Lyon
There are a few other names there that figure to have just about zero chance at making the NHL team, but by and large, these are guys that (if they aren’t locks) are legitimately fighting for spots on the opening-night roster. We are officially in the Business Time portion of the preseason, and tomorrow’s game will be crucial for the fates of a number of guys on that list above.