Does Travis Sanheim or Phil Myers make the main roster over Andrew MacDonald? (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
At this moment, I think the two youngsters who make the team on the blue line are Sam Morin and Robert Hagg. Those two, along with Ivan Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere, will be a part of this team for a very long time. Radko Gudas, too, will have a home here for a few more years. That leaves Brandon Manning and MacDonald with one starting spot open. I believe MacDonald gets the nod again, most likely alongside Provorov, leaving the Phantoms with a rather stacked defensive group. There’s no issue in letting Sanheim develop for another season at the AHL level until he is ready. Morin and Hagg spent five years combined with the Phantoms, so judging on history, Ron Hextall has no problem with patience in his defensemen.
When Neuvirth (no doubt) gets hurt, do you think the Flyers should give Anthony Stolarz a real chance? I do. (@natethedadd27)
If an injury does strike between Neuvirth or Brian Elliott, of course Stolarz will get the call-up. Now, will he play substantial minutes? I think it would take a more serious injury for him to surpass one of the two vets. Let’s say Neuvirth does miss some time, I’d expect Dave Hakstol to ride Elliott, who has shown in the past that he can heat up in similar situations. It seems like Stolarz keeps getting the short end of the stick. Only making it more difficult for him, too, is Alex Lyon, who Hextall mentioned in his conference call on Sunday, saying not to forget about him, either.
Will the goalie tandem that starts the season be the same by the All-Star break? (@KevinEZRQ)
I think Neuvirth-Elliott will go the distance this season, but hey, I guess you could never rule out a trade deadline move involving Neuvirth if Stolarz (or Lyon) really force their way onto the roster.
Does Oskar Lindblom make the team and if so where does he slide in? (@lucas_1491)
There’s a ton of forwards who will be jostling for position this training camp. That said, I think Lindblom has as strong of a chance as anyone. It’s going to be hard to pass on a kid who played so well for Brynas IF (47 points in 52 games) in the SHL. I could foresee him getting second line minutes alongside Sean Couturier and Wayne Simmonds. If Nolan Patrick truly does flash, a Lindblom-Patrick-Simmonds line would surely be a fan favorite.
We have too many centers, what do we do with them (@the_rice_kid)
Right now, Claude Giroux is your first line pivot. Sean Couturier and Nolan Patrick will go somewhere on lines two and three. There’s also Valterri Filppula, Jori Lehtera, Scott Laughton and Mike Vecchione. Filppula is certainly a lock for the lineup, but he can also play the wing. The same goes for Lehtera. I think the real battle is with Vecchione and Laughton for a roster spot. It’s really hard to predict how that shakes out now, but I think Filppula going on the wing is likely, Lehtera mans the fourth line center role and Laughton beats out Vecchione for a spot. This truly can go either way, though, and I’ll likely change my mind as soon as camp begins.
Where does Wade Allison fit in the near future? (@slakhawk27)
As soon as he was taken in the 2016 NHL Draft, there were skeptics doubting his potential. I think his first year at Western Michigan was a good step in the right direction. He finished with 29 points in 36 games last season. He’s still young and a few years from turning pro, which makes his trajectory tough to project, but there’s a belief he could develop into a top six forward, which would be a huge pull for someone who was the 52nd pick. He’ll need to prove himself once again this season in the NCAA, but if he maintains a fairly close point-per-game status, you’ll start to hear about him a lot more among the Flyers fan base.