As usual, several former members of the Philadelphia Flyers’ organization and draft picks moved this week, as four of the players suited up for the Orange and Black in recent seasons. The group of Ilya Bryzgalov, Kurtis Foster, Sean O’Donnell, and Nikolay Zherdev earned new titles within the last seven days.
The most intriguing news since last Wednesday may be Bryzgalov’s move, as he will train with Erik Granqvist, who is a coach for Farjestad in the SHL. The move is said to be for training, despite the fact many think Brzygalov will eventually find a spot on Farjestad’s roster or another SHL team. Farjestad currently has former Calgary Flame Danny Taylor and Fredrik Pettersson Wentzel, who was picked by the Atlanta Thrashers in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Farjestad’s club will feature Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and Tomas Hyka next season.
Another player on the 2013 Flyers’ roster that is crossing the pond is Foster, who will join the KHL’s lone Croatian team in Medvescak Zagreb. The d-man, who had a goal and four helpers in 23 games for the Flyers this past season, will join a blue line that features Mathieu Carle, Mark Katic, Mark Popovic, and Alan Letang. The club also features Boyd Kane, Andrew Murray, Michael Ryan, Bill Thomas, Brian Willsie, Hugh Jessiman, Barry Brust, and Jonathan Cheechoo.
As for another defenseman who only spent a season with the Orange and Black, O’Donnell has joined the Los Angeles Kings’ front office as a manager of fan development and alumni relations. The defender had one goal, 17 assists, and 87 PIMs in 81 games for Philly during the 2010-2011 regular season. He also took part in all 11 games the Flyers saw in the 2011 postseason to post two assists and five PIMs.
Zherdev switched KHL clubs this week, as he joined HC Lev Praha after being let go by Atlant Mytishchi. Zherdev had 43 points in 50 regular season games last year with Atlant Mytishchi and Ak Bars Kazan. The Flyers are the last NHL team Zherdev has played for, as he has spent the last two seasons in the KHL and representing Russia at the 2012 IIHF World Championship and the 2012 and 2013 Euro Hockey Tour.
In the most interesting news relating to former Phantoms and Trenton Titans, Luke Pither will play for KalPa in the SM-liiga for the 2013-2014 campaign. Pither, who was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Brian Boucher and Mark Alt just before the start of the 2013 season, had three points in 11 games for the Titans, as well as 22 points in 24 games for the Wheeling Nailers in the ECHL. He also had 18 points in 23 games with the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL this past season, as the 24-year-old center prepares for his first experience with a European squad.
As for draft picks that never panned out for Philly, Rob Bellamy will play for his current ECHL team for a third straight year and Frederik Cabana will jump from the DEL2 to the DEL.
Bellamy, who was picked 92nd overall by the Flyers in the third round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, will play for the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL in 2013-2014. The right winger has spent the last two seasons with the Ottawa Senators’ affiliate, as he will play with Jordon Southorn, who played with the Titans in 2011-2012, next season.
Cabana, who was taken later in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft at 171st overall in the sixth round, will compete with the Hamburg Freezers in the DEL for the 2013-2014 season. The 27-year-old forward has spent the previous four seasons in the DEL2, as he played one season with the Heilbronner Falken for a year before playing the last three years for the Ravensburg Towerstars. Cabana played parts of three seasons with the Philadelphia Phantoms from the 2006-2007 campaign to 2008-2009. The Freezers will also ice Mathieu Roy, Christoph Schubert, Duvie Westcott, Philippe Dupuis, and Matt Pettinger.
A group of former Trenton Titans also joined different clubs this week, as the set of Stephen Schultz, Eric Baier, Mitch Versteeg, and Peter Lenes found new homes.
Schultz will play for ESV Kaufbeuren in the DEL2 next season after he spent 2012-2013 with the Titans and the Binghamton Senators. The right winger had 54 points in 55 games for Trenton last season.
Baier, who spent parts of the last two seasons with the Titans, will be a member of the Orlando Solar Bears next year. With 17 points in 51 games in 2011-2012 and 13 points in 56 games last year, Baier will join the ECHL affiliate for the Minnesota Wild and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The defenseman will play alongside other former Titans Mike Ullrich and Ian Slater.
Versteeg will join Heilbronner Falken in the DEL2 after spending the last four seasons in the ECHL. Kris’ brother played part of last season with the Titans and the entire 2011-2012 campaign with Trenton.
Lenes will be a member of the Dornbirner EC Bulldogs in Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga. The winger had 12 points in 32 games for Trenton in 2011-2012.