97.5 The Fanatic Flyers Roundup: Bobby Brink, Tyson Foerster, Trade Rumors
The Philadelphia Flyers finished off the preseason with a win over the New York Islanders on Thursday. Head coach John Tortorella is completing his evaluation of training camp, especially concerning Bobby Brink and Tyson Foerster.
The organization will soon decide the final roster entering the season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, Oct. 12, if the Flyers don’t acquire Mathieu Joseph.
Flyers Dress Rehearsal
John Tortorella said he expected the lineup against the Islanders for the final preseason game on Oct. 5 to be very similar to the lineup on opening night.
Joel Farabee- Sean Couturier- Tyson Foerster
Scott Laughton-Noah Cates-Travis Konecny
Owen Tippett-Morgan Frost-Cam Atkinson
Nicolas Deslauriers-Ryan Poehling-Garnet Hathaway
Cam York-Emil Andrae
Marc Staal-Travis Sanheim
Nick Seeler-Sean Walker
Carter Hart, Sam Ersson
Rasmus Ristolainen sat out as a late scratch, but he expects to be available for the regular season. Emil Andrae, who is likely to begin the season in the AHL, replaced him.
The recent conversations around the team have fixated on the expectation that veterans will begin the season in the lineup over developing prospects.
While the rebuild is about younger players who factor into the future, using veterans to begin the season in the lineup doesn’t indicate a lack of confidence in young players. The Flyers plan to bring along their young players at a different pace on a case-to-case basis. They have placed an organizational emphasis on development at the AHL level.
If young defensemen like Andrae, Adam Ginning, and Ronnie Attard don’t beat out Staal, Seeler, or Walker for game one, it isn’t a major indicator of the organization’s philosophy on young players. Lineups are also incredibly quick to change throughout an NHL season. Nothing is set in stone to last for 82 games.
Bobby Brink and Tyson Foerster
Tortorella has spoken highly of roster hopeful Bobby Brink during the preseason.
“If we’re going to get where we want to be eventually here in this process, we’re going to have to create more offense. He’s been one of the better ones so far in camp here, not so much scoring the goal but just creating offense, so we have to keep looking at him.” -John Tortorella (Oct. 2)
However, he made the curious decision to sit the 22-year-old right-winger for the final preseason game.
Brink returned from hip surgery in the middle of the 2022-23 season to play 41 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He led the NCAA in scoring in 2021-22 on his way to a National Championship with the University of Denver.
He entered camp fighting an uphill battle to earn a roster spot, and it appears unlikely that he’ll start the 2023-24 season with the big club despite the strong showing.
Tyson Foerster, Philadelphia’s top pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, entered camp with a better outlook. He scored three goals and added four assists in an eight-game debut at the NHL level in 2022-23.
“He moved the puck well. I thought he was on the puck (and) protected the puck well. I thought he played really well. I know he doesn’t have the points, but I thought he had a good camp and did a lot of the little things I’m looking for.” -Tortorella
The 21-year-old has a quick shot that makes him one of the most valued prospects in the organization. Tortorella, Danny Briere, and the Flyers haven’t announced any final decisions yet. Tortorella even pointed out that preseason is about a collective roster competition that isn’t necessarily between Foerster and Brink.
However, it looks like Foerster will begin the 2022-23 in the lineup while Brink starts with the Phantoms looking to earn his playing time in a healthy competition within the organization.
Shane Pinto, Mathieu Joseph Rumors
The Flyers have been a huge subject of the rumor mill during the preseason. The Ottawa Senators face salary cap constraints trying to extend forward Shane Pinto, and the Flyers could capitalize on an opponent’s need to move contracts.
If the Senators attach an asset in a salary dump of Mathieu Joseph, the Flyers are the perfect team to absorb his $2.95 million annual cap hit through 2025-26. The 26-year-old depth forward won a Stanley Cup as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020-21.
The Stick 2 Hockey podcast discussed the possibility of lowering the ask to a package centered on a second-round pick and one supplemental asset. The Flyers also placed Wade Allison on waivers Friday. If he clears, he could also be on the move as part of the deal as it becomes increasingly unlikely that he has a future in Philadelphia as a major contributor.
Defenseman Erik Brannstrom is another player the Senators might look to move for salary cap reasons. If he came to the Flyers in a deal that also included Joseph, it might eliminate the need for Ottawa to include draft picks.