PRAGUE, Czech Republic – For much of training camp, it looked like rookie forward Joel Farabee was a shoo-in to make the Flyers’ opening night roster.
But in what amounted to a bit of a surprise, the former Boston University star did not survive the last round of cuts late Tuesday afternoon.
Also not appearing on the Flyers’ roster will be defenseman Philippe Myers, who like Farabee will be heading to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Some of the decision making had to do with the salary cap. As far as the Flyers go, what’s new there?
Also, before the NHL deadline, it appeared training camp invitee Chris Stewart might make the roster but be one of the spares for the Chicago game. He has yet to be signed to a contract.
Head coach Alain Vigneault indicated he would have no problem with two rookie forwards –Connor Bunnaman and Carsen Twarynski on the team.
“I’ve always said, talent has no age,’’ Vigneault said. “When a player is ready to play and he’s shown the maturity on the ice and an understanding of the game. . .we’re going to keep the guys that permit us to win.
“Whether it’s the 10-year guys or the first-year guys; we have to take the ones that give us the best chance to win.’’
As for Myers, he could go down for a game or two and then return. Part of the salary cap situation has to do with whether the Flyers will put third-year center Nolan Patrick on the long-term injured list. He’s suffering from recurring migraine headaches.
“It (a possible Myers’ demotion) just might be for one game,’’ Vigneault said. “There are some decisions that we have to make at this point.’’
Here is the opening night roster:
(11 forwards): Travis Konecny, Michael Raffl, Kevin Hayes, Sean Couturier, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom, James van Riemsdyk, Claude Giroux, Carsen Twarynski, Connor Bunnaman, Jake Voracek.
(7 defensemen): Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg, Ivan Provorov, Matt Niskanen, Shayne Gostisbehere, Samuel Morin, Justin Braun.
(2 goaltenders): Carter Hart, Brian Elliott.
>Flyers having fun in Prague, but thinking about opener
It’s pretty cool to open your NHL season in a faraway place like Prague in the Czech Republic.
But after all the sight-seeing and restaurant-hopping is over, the Flyers know they have to get down to business for Friday’s Game 1 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“We need to be prepared, we need to be ready,’’ Vigneault cautioned during a press briefing at the Carlo IV Hotel in downtown Prague late Tuesday afternoon.
“We have a team meal tonight, a mandatory day off tomorrow and we get one practice before out first regular-season game.’’
That said, the Flyers planned to enjoy themselves on Tuesday night at a team meal and Wednesday, when they will take in a championship soccer match on their NHL-mandated day off.
Native son Voracek figured to be the unofficial “tour guide’’ although he grinned and said, “they can find their way around.’’
Raffl chuckled when asked about Voracek’s celebrity status.
“He’s been talking about it a lot, how big he is here,’’ Raffl said. “You can already see that coming off the plane, people grabbing pictures with him. It’s going to be a zoo out there for that guy.’’
Gostisbehere is trying to take in the whole experience before practice resumes in earnest on Thursday.
“It’s good to get Switzerland out of the way and finally take in the city (Prague),’’ he said. “Have fun and get ready for this game.’’
The Flyers want to break from recent tradition and get off to a quick start this season. It begins here.
“Obviously you want to win the first game, especially in this fashion in Europe,’’ Gostisbehere said. “And that’s what we’re going to do.’’
Voracek drew some laughter with his comments about coming home to play in his home country.
“We’re here for business on Friday,’’ he said. “But to be here is pretty exciting. We want to get off to a good start, it hasn’t happened the past few years. We want to be sure to dig in and show the Czech fans some good hockey.’’
Technically, this is a home game for the Flyers. And with Voracek in the Flyers’ lineup, there should be a lot of rooting for the “home’’ team.
>Pitlick return still on hold
The Flyers were waiting to see if forward Tyler Pitlick (wrist injury) would be somehow ready to go on Friday. When the final roster came out, the ex-Dallas Star was still listed as injured.
>Hart not a sure thing for Friday
Hart got lit up for four goals in the loss to Lausanne and Vigneault said he hadn’t made a decision on the starter for Chicago.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to discuss anything with him,’’ said Vigneault, mindful that Hart had allowed only one goal in 130-plus minutes prior to the Lausanne game. “I will announce my goaltender after practice on Thursday.’’
Added Gostisbehere: “It’s one game. No big deal. He’s a stud with short-term memory.’’
Elliott is the other option.