The Philadelphia Flyers sent a clear message with who they value on their blue line on Tuesday.
After the debacle of Lake Tahoe and some forced position switching, they have placed defenseman Mark Friedman on waivers.
Transaction: We have placed defenseman Mark Friedman on waivers.— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) February 23, 2021
The 25-year-old has appeared in four games for Philadelphia this season, going pointless with a minus-two rating. Averaging just 11:01 TOI—that mean has been slightly warped due to his forward debut on the fourth line during the outdoor game—head coach Alain Vigneault clearly does not value him enough to give him a real chance on this mystery blue line that is going to be forever changing until they run out of time.
This doesn’t mean the end of Friedman as a Flyer, he was actually still practicing with the rest of the team as this announcement was made, but this transaction speaks volumes with who they would rather have as their six NHL defensemen.
Rather than keeping Friedman around as insurance, they have decided to try and get him on the taxi squad or down with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Opting to continue the Erik Gustafsson experiment and watching Robert Hagg moving around the ice like there are bread knives attached to his skates.
Regular defender Justin Braun is still not off the NHL’s COVID protocol list, so there must be some future lineup changes with his return and the rest of the Flyers defensemen healthy, they now have seven to work with.
We shall see if Friedman is able to pass through waivers cleanly and keep him in the organization, or another franchise desperate for a blue line body will grab him up and contract that continues through next season with a $725,000 cap hit.