Flyers senior vice president Bob Clarke might yet appear on the list of candidates to replace fired Columbus general manager Doug MacLean, but the Blue Jackets haven't made any moves in that direction.

"Nobody has called us to ask for permission [to talk to Clarke]," said Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. "He's under contract to us, so if they were going to go that road they would have to contact us first."

According to a report in yesterday's Columbus Dispatch, Clarke is gaining momentum among possible candidates for the job. It would make sense, since Clarke remains a close friend of Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock, whom the Flyers fired the day Clarke resigned last October.

When he resigned amid the beginnings of the worst season in Flyers history, Clarke said he was burned out and had lost his passion for the job.

In his current role, he attends games and scouts young players and prospects. He could not be reached for comment last night. The search for a replacement for MacLean has just started and formal interviews have not even begun, the Dispatch reported.

Clarke told the newspaper he did not want to comment and said, "It's up to the guys in Columbus to decide if I'm on their list or not."

Snap shots

Winger Mike Knuble will undergo surgery tomorrow to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, the Flyers announced. Knuble said the injury was not significant, but he wanted to get it fixed long before next season begins.

Winger Mike Knuble will undergo surgery tomorrow to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, the Flyers announced. Knuble said the injury was not significant, but he wanted to get it fixed long before next season begins.

"Basically, I have a small tear in my labrum in my right shoulder. I had the same procedure done 3 years ago on my left. I don't think this tear is as severe as the one I had in my left shoulder," Knuble said.

"This was a case of me rehabbing it, and if that didn't work it would be the beginning of June by the time I would have had the surgery. That would be cutting into my training time and it would be getting too close to the start of the season."

The surgery is going to be done by Peter DeLuca at Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia. Knuble will begin rehab on Friday.

In other Flyers news, goaltender Robert Esche withdrew from the U.S. team for the world championships after his son, Waylon, was hospitalized for a week with influenza; Waylon is said to be home and doing better. *