There were mixed signals Monday concerning Shayne Gostisbehere’s undisclosed upper-body injury.
The third-year Flyers defenseman was injured in a collision with two Islanders defensemen Sunday as he fired a third-period shot in New York’s 5-2 exhibition win.
After the game, general manager Ron Hextall said he would know in a “day or two” the extent of the injury. Hextall did not have an update Monday.
That Gostisbehere was on the team flight Monday afternoon to San Jose was a good sign that the club does not believe he has a concussion. Some people’s symptoms become worse when taking a flight with a concussion, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
About an hour before their flight, the Flyers placed veteran winger Matt Read on waivers. If he clears at noon on Tuesday, as expected, the Flyers could send him to the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Waiving Read indicates the Flyers are worried enough about Gostisbehere’s health that they will carry eight defensemen when they start the season in San Jose on Wednesday.
Defensemen Travis Sanheim, who tied for the team lead with three goals in the preseason, and Sam Morin were healthy scratches Sunday. Both have had excellent training camps, but one of them (probably Sanheim) figures to go to the Phantoms when Gostisbehere is healthy.
As it stands, the Flyers have five rookies on their roster: Nolan Patrick, Taylor Leier, Robert Hagg, Morin, and Sanheim.
The last time they had five rookies to start a season was in 1992-93, when Eric Lindros, Vyacheslav Butsayev, Jason Bowen, Tommy Soderstrom, and Dmitry Yuskevich were on the roster, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“All the young players on our team right now, they’re playing some good hockey,” captain Claude Giroux said. “It’s really fun to watch.”
The Flyers will practice in San Jose on Tuesday, then face the Sharks on Wednesday. They’ll play in Los Angeles on Thursday and in Anaheim on Saturday before the four-game trip ends next Tuesday in Nashville , the defending Western Conference champion.
“We start the season with three games in four nights in tough buildings, and then finish in Nashville, so it’s a big challenge in front of us — one I’m sure our guys are excited for,” coach Dave Hakstol said.
The Flyers had just a 14-22-5 road record last season; only seven teams had fewer road wins. Conversely, they had a 25-11-5 record at home, eighth best in the NHL.
The Flyers’ second power-play unit, composed of Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny, Patrick, Jordan Weal, and Ivan Provorov, looks much stronger than last year’s. The first unit, however, has been slow to get in sync. … The Flyers’ home opener will be Oct. 14 against Washington.