Monday practice update 1/14
First, defenseman Danny Syvret and winger Matt Ford were placed on waivers, according to TSN.
Phantoms coach Terry Murray, Syvret and Ford all said that was news to them.
It is believed the transaction is a formality to allow those two players to continue playing in the American Hockey League, as they are veterans who are not on the entry-level contracts that are given to younger players. Both did clear waivers during a special period prior the old NHL collective bargaining agreement expiring in September, but a now a new agreement is in place.
“I don’t know anything about it,” Ford said. “It might have something to do with (us not being on) entry-level contracts, but it’s news to me. I don’t know if it’s going to affect us here.”
Dozens were waived Sunday and several more were placed waivers on Monday, TSN reported. As of this posting, TSN reported the lone claim was the New York Islanders picking up defenseman Joe Finley from Buffalo. Finley had been spending the lockout with Buffalo’s AHL affiliate in Rochester.
“I don’t expect it to be any news other than just a contractual thing,” Syvret said of the report.
Wingers Harry Zolnierczyk and Mike Testwuide are the only two other Phantoms on non-entry-level NHL contracts, though a couple players are on AHL deals. Zolnierczyk and Testwuide were not eligible for waivers under the terms of the old collective bargaining agreement, due to the dates they signed their first NHL contracts and their number of NHL games played.
I have not yet seen anything that suggests the terms of waiver eligibility have changed in the new deal. Re-entry waivers have been eliminated, but that doesn’t apply to sending guys to the AHL.
Secondly, in semi-related news, injured defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon is no longer on Adirondack’s roster, according to Philadelphia Flyers assistant general manager Barry Hanrahan.
Though Bourdon physically remains in Glens Falls, the defenseman had been spending the lockout with the Phantoms on an AHL contract. He was signed to that contract because the Flyers wanted him to play in the AHL, but he was eligible for waivers and they did not want to risk him getting claimed by another team. The easiest thing to do was just have him sign an AHL deal with the Phantoms, which he was allowed to do because he was on Adirondack’s 2011-12 clear day list.
But he suffered an injury while playing for the Phantoms and has not played since November. However, now that the lockout is over, that AHL contract is void and his NHL contract kicks in.
Now, assuming this particular part of the CBA did not change (and I can’t seem to find anything indicates it did), he cannot be assigned to the AHL or any other league until he is medically cleared. So Bourdon is officially listed on Philadelphia’s training camp roster on injured reserve. If he were to play for Adirondack again, he'd first have to be either clear waivers or be sent down on a conditioning assignment.
Third, Garrett Roe did not practice. He is out with a new upper-body injury he suffered on a hit while killing a penalty in the third period Saturday’s loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
He will be out for “for a little while,” Murray said. It’s a tough development for Roe, who had just returned from a different upper-body injury. He was slated to get top-six minutes for the Phantoms now that top centers Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier have gone to Philadelphia.
“At the start of the year I have him playing in a fourth-line situation basically,” Murray said. “That’s because of the lockout, you have two other players who are taking those minutes in that position and the conversation I had with him going back at the beginning of the year was ‘When the lockout ends, funny of the business, you’re going to be moving right up to the top line, second line and playing a lot of minutes.’ That’s exactly what developed. Now he’s missed some time already and gets back into the line-up for a couple a games and we’re going to miss him again for a little while.”
Murray said he didn’t envision calling anyone up from the ECHL. Everyone you would call up is already here. They have 12 forwards including Zack FitzGerald, who can play wing, and there’s a chance they get a player or two back from the Flyers, which will wrap up training camp before the Phantoms play next.
That plays into the fourth bit of news, which is the potential of newly-acquired goalie Brian Boucher joining the Phantoms. I spoke with Cal Heeter, Scott Munroe and Murray about that, which is getting its own post. Look for that in a couple of minutes, hopefully within the hour.
Finally, some people were asking on the process of naming a new captain. Murray said there’s still no update there. He’ll wait to see the dust settle from the transactions, see who the Phantoms will get back, and then think about it.
He reiterated his stance he believes the Phantoms need a captain, but it also has to be the right person with the right leadership skills – almost coach-like in some fashions, knowing how to pull a player aside and have a conversation with them in order to push them to the next level. He’s also looking for someone who can really set the tone in practices and get players motivated for games.
Until an hour from now, MC