All bets are off. At least those betting on whether Blair Betts will be in the lineup for Friday night’s regular season opener in Carolina.
The Flyers announced their 22-man roster today to open the season and Betts is not on it. In camp on a tryout contract, the Flyers have made it clear that they would like to sign Betts and Betts has made it clear that he would like to be a Flyer.
But the two sides have not been able to come to an agreement.
“We’re at the same place we were yesterday,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. “We’re working through things.”
Holmgren would not say what the hang up is in the negotiations. Betts earned $615,000 last year with the Rangers and would probably be due a small raise. And it probably isn’t the length of contract, because Holmgren said that the club would discuss both one and two-year deals.
The whole thing has left Betts – who was clearly frustrated after practice – baffled. Both sides have known since the first preseason game that he would be a good fit in Philadelphia, exactly two weeks ago.
“I have no idea,” Betts said on Wednesday after practice. “As the player, I honestly don’t know.
“They said they need a little bit more time and we are waiting to hear from [the Flyers].”
Betts excels in the face-off circle and could be a fixture on the team’s first penalty killing unit if he can strike an accord with the Flyers. He would also take pressure off of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux to play more minutes on the penalty kill.
Betts is an unrestricted free agent and is free to sign with any team at any time. But he said after practice that he has not spoken to other teams.
“It’s either we’re staying here,” Betts said. “Or if we’re not staying here then we’ll figure something else out.
“I’m confident something will happen.”
Holmgren wasn’t as confident.
“I don’t know,” Holmgren said. “We’ll see how it goes over the next day. If we don’t have anything done by tomorrow, it probably won’t happen.”
Holmgren ended all speculation about what the Flyers would do with defenseman Randy Jones when he announced that the blue liner was loaned to Adirondack after today’s practice.
Jones was not claimed on waivers this past weekend. He will still earn his entire $3 million salary in the AHL and will stay put unless the Flyers need to call him up because of injury.
JVR, Pyorala, Syvret are safe
As expected, James van Riemsdyk, Mika Pyorala and Danny Syvret will be on the Flyers roster for Friday night.
Read more in Thursday’s Daily News.