The Flyers brought back a familiar face in net.
The team traded for veteran goaltender Brian Boucher, who will report to AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. Boucher, who last played for the Flyers during the 2010-11 season, has long been a fan favorite. GM Paul Holmgren called the move an insurance policy. Presumably, he’ll only be used if Ilya Bryzgalov or Michael Leighton get injured.
“Any way I can help the organization, I’m willing to do it,” Boucher said. “I’m sure right now it will be in a depth role, but I’ll take any opportunity.”
The team also signed defenseman Kurtis Foster. The 31-year-old is entering his 11th season after appearing in 51 games last year. Foster was drafted by Calgary in the second round back in 2000.
Divisional battles await Flyers
The Flyers released their 48-game schedule this past weekend. As previously reported, the team will open Saturday afternoon when they host Pittsburgh in a nationally televised game. The season ends April 28 in Ottawa.
The Flyers will play only Eastern Conference opponents due to the shortened season. They’ll play 18 of their games strictly against Atlantic Division foes, including five against New York and five against New Jersey.
Laughton could make impact
Flyers first-round draft pick Scott Laughton is one guy to keep an eye on this week at camp.
Laughton, who went 20th overall, has a legitimate chance to earn ice time with center Danny Briere expected to miss the opener. The Flyers could choose to run the 18-year-old out for five games without hurting his rookie eligibility.
Laughton had 13 goals and 20 assists (33 points) in 32 games for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. If he shines in camp, expect him to make the roster.
Games to watch
The games will come fast and furious — seven games in 11 days in January — here are some to watch:
» Jan. 19 vs. Pens, 3 p.m. — Rematch of last year’s epic (and bloody) playoff series. Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux exchanged words in the offseason and will be eager to see each other.
» Jan. 22 vs. Devils, 7:30 — Don’t you think the Flyers want to prove that deflating second-round exit to the Devils was a fluke? No doubt this one is circled on Ilya Bryzgalov’s calendar.
» Feb. 11 at Maple Leafs, 7 — Flyers face old friend James van Riemsdyk after he was traded for Luke Schenn. The top pick will want to show his former team what they’re missing.