Hart goes on IR but could be ready later in road trip

Carter Hart

One day after taking part in a full practice on Tuesday, Flyers goaltender Carter Hart was placed on Injured Reserve due to a concussion he suffered in last Friday night’s game at Carolina.

Hart took part in Wednesday’s practice at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees, N.J. but has not been cleared for game action yet. He must clear concussion protocol before that happens.

With Hart sidelined, coach John Tortorella said backup goalie Samuel Ersson will start Thursday night’s game at San Jose.

Tortorella disclosed he planned to start Ersson against the Sharks regardless of Hart’s status because Ersson played quite well in the third period of Friday night’s 6-5 loss at Carolina.

According to Tortorella, if Hart is ready by Saturday, he will play in that afternoon’s game at the Los Angeles Kings, as well as Monday’s game at Anaheim.

After Tuesday’s practice, Tortorella stated he had spoken to Hart each day over the Christmas break to get updates on the goalie’s health.

Tortorella noted Hart reported no problems. Then came Wednesday’s announcement. The timing seemed a bit strange.

“Carter continues to go about his business,’’ Tortorella said. “Go through the protocol of getting ready to play. I was going to play Ersson in San Jose anyway to give Carter time. Carter continues to work and we’ll see where it all goes as far as the protocol.’’

Tortorella said Hart has to go through an evaluation before playing in a game.

“I had spoken to all the goalies prior to this before the practice yesterday,’’ Tortorella said. “I wanted Ersson to get another start after his third period in Carolina.’’

Ersson started that game and did allow five goals against the Hurricanes before he was pulled. But Hart, playing in a relief role, was injured in a collision with the Hurricanes’ Seth Jarvis, so Ersson re-entered the game and registered a fine final period.

“When Carter gets hurt, we put him back in,’’ Tortorella said. “We didn’t want to draw it up that way but I thought he stood in there. But I think it kind of shows me a little bit of his character. I think he’s got a good feel about himself, the right type of swagger for a goalie to have.’’

Questions still abound about why Hart has been cleared to practice but still has to go through the mandatory protocol.

“I’m not sure how the protocol works,’’ Tortorella said. “I think you’re able to practice but you still have to. . .I guess when they give you the final OK they still have to have a final evaluation.

“I think he still has to be cleared to play, at least by our organization. I know he still has to have an interview and go through that final evaluation to say you can play.’’

>Short shots

The Flyers called up forward Olle Lycksell from the Phantoms and placed forward Max Willman on waivers for the purpose of returning him to Lehigh Valley if he clears. . .Tortorella said he probably will put Ivan Provorov and Cam York together for a defense pairing against San Jose.

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About Wayne Fish 2473 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.