Rookie Laughton staying with Flyers — for now
Rookie Scott Laughton is sticking with the Flyers.
As expected, the Flyers kept Laughton - the team's first-round pick last June - on their Opening Day 23-man, thanks to extra roster space provided by Danny Briere's wrist injury.
According to reports, Laughton will be one of 10 junior players to make the Opening Day cut. Seven other underage players were sent back to their junior teams earlier in the week.
"With Danny's situation being as it is, it just gives us a few days to give him a bit longer look," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "It'll be a good experience, one way or the other."
Laughton is permitted to play five games before the Flyers must decide whether he should be sent back to OHL Oshawa. Once a sixth game is played, Laughton counts against the Flyers' 50-contract limit, and he will burn a year on his entry-level deal.
It remains to be seen whether Laughton will be in Peter Laviolette's lineup on Saturday or sit as a healthy scratch. Bruisers Tom Sestito and Jody Shelley are on the roster, and Laughton also is competing with speedster Eric Wellwood and pest Zac Rinaldo.
"Whether he plays tomorrow or doesn't play tomorrow, it'll be a good experience," Holmgren said. "Even if he watched the game, it'd be a pretty good experience for him, because it's the Penguins and they're a great team and it's Opening Day."
Holmgren is "95 percent" sure that defenseman Andrej Meszaros will play this weekend. During training camp, Meszaros did not seem to be suffering any ill effects from his Aug. 9 surgery to repair a torn left Achilles' tendon.
If Meszaros is in the lineup, the Flyers will have to decide whether to sit either Bruno Gervais or Kurtis Foster as a healthy scratch. Gervais likely would be the odd man out.
As expected, Danny Briere will sit out the Flyers' opening weekend games against Pittsburgh and Buffalo. Briere, who suffered a hairline fracture in his left wrist on Dec. 28 while playing in Germany, skated on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Holmgren said Briere is "coming along good enough." Briere was limited to just passing and skating earlier in the week. Holmgren expects to upgrade his status to "day-to-day" after the weekend.
The Flyers will miss Briere against the Penguins and Sabres. Since signing with the Flyers in 2007 out of Buffalo, Briere is exactly a point-per-game player against both the Sabres (5G, 7A, 12 GP) and Penguins (6G, 15A, 21GP).
The Flyers were contacted by agent Don Meehan about their interest in bought-out Rangers defenseman Wade Redden, but were thwarted by the 50-contract limit and the fact that they already signed free agent Kurtis Foster. Redden landed in St. Louis on a 1-year, $800,000 prorated deal. He will also be paid $5 million by the Rangers this season . . . Roxborough native Eric Tangradi has made the Penguins and is expected to play on the left wing with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal against the Flyers on Saturday . . . As noted in Thursday's Daily News, the Flyers will keep injured players Chris Pronger and Matt Walker on the salary cap via short-term injury reserve as long as possible this season.
"Coming here and seeing Sidney Crosby run the show and do what he does, you learn to not like him fast. And I think that goes for all Philadelphians and guys that put on a Flyers jersey."
- Forward Scott Hartnell on the Flyers' hatred for Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.