Several of the moves involving former Philadelphia Flyers and Flyers’ draft picks this week relate to NHL training camps taking shape. In addition to a Professional Try-Out for Hal Gill, the drama surrounding Daniel Cleary, and an entry-level contract handed out to Taylor Leier, a pair of goaltenders once linked to the Orange and Black are involved with other NHL clubs.
One netminder is Johan Hedberg, who was invited to the New York Rangers training camp on a Professional Try-Out. With Martin Biron, yet another former Flyers’ goalie, out of camp due to personal reasons, Hedberg will join the Blueshirts and try to earn a spot with the club. Hedberg has spent the last three seasons with the New Jersey Devils and was picked 218th overall in the ninth round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Flyers.
The second goalie related to the Flyers is Ilya Bryzgalov, who has been handed a PTO with the Florida Panthers, according to multiple reports. Both Bryzgalov and Tim Thomas have apparently been invited to training camp for the Panthers. After being released by the Flyers in June, Bryzgalov trained with Erik Granqvist, who is a coach with the SHL’s Farjestad. Sergei Fedorov, who is currently the GM of the KHL’s CSKA Moscow, said Bryzgalov had an “open door” to joining the club this summer. Bryz had a 2.79 GAA and a .900 save percentage last season with the Flyers.
Two former Flyers received major news this week, as Jim Vandermeer will play for a club in Switzerland and Joni Pitkanen will miss the entire 2013-2014 campaign.
Vandermeer, who spent last season with the Chicago Wolves in the AHL and last played in the NHL with the San Jose Sharks in 2011-2012, will play for the Kloten Flyers of the NLA. The blue liner took part in 75 tilts for the Orange and Black across the seasons of 2002-2003, 2003-2004, and 2007-2008. Kloten will also boast Martin Gerber and Peter Mueller next season.
Pitkanen will miss the entire 2013-2014 season due to a lingering injury related to a broken heel bone he suffered in April. Evidently the injury hasn’t healed properly and the Hurricanes have already shut down the former Flyers’ defenseman for the season. Pitkanen has spent the last five seasons with Carolina and endured a single season with the Edmonton Oilers in 2007-2008 since leaving Philadelphia.
As for former Phantoms, Shane Harper and Trent Daavettila were involved in transactions this week.
Harper, who has spent the last four seasons with the Adirondack Phantoms and suited up for the Trenton Titans last year, will join the Chicago Wolves for the 2013-2014 campaign. Harper had 41 points in 143 games for the Phantoms, as well as 27 points in 15 games with the Titans.
Daavettila has signed a contract extension with the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL. The 29-year-old forward had 67 points in 70 games with the Eagles last season, as well as an assist in one game with the Chicago Wolves in the AHL. Daavettila took part in 13 contests for the Phantoms back in 2009-2010 and provided two helpers and a minus-4 rating.
Greg Coburn, who was released by Ilves of the SM-liiga last week, was invited to the Phoenix Coyotes’ training camp. Braydon’s brother finished his fourth season at Union College in 2012-2013 and was a member of Ilves, but never took part in a game for the club.
As for a pair of Flyers’ picks, Dov Grumet-Morris was invited to the Panthers’ training camp and Brendan Ranford was invited to the Dallas Stars’ training camp.
Grumet-Morris has spent the last two seasons with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL. He had a 2.33 GAA and a .921 save percentage in 2011-2012, as well as a 3.24 GAA and a .903 save percentage in 2012-2013. Grumet-Morris was picked 161st overall in the fifth round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Ranford, who was taken 209th overall by the Flyers in the seventh round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, will have his chance to make the Stars’ roster. The 21-year-old forward has spent the last six seasons with the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL. He had 330 points in 279 games with the Blazers over the last four seasons.
Two former Titans moved this week, as Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond and Chris McKelvie have been invited to NHL training camps.
Letourneau-Leblond has been invited to the Pittsburgh Penguins training camp. Letourneau-Leblond has played in 40 NHL games over his career and had 13 points, along with 183 PIMS, in 52 games for the Trenton Titans back in 2006-2007.
As for McKelvie, the 28-year-old left winger will attend the New Jersey Devils’ training camp. He split time between the Albany Devils and Trenton Titans last season, as he had a goal and an assist in a pair of games for the Flyers’ former ECHL affiliate.