/Flyers claim Calvin Pickard off waivers from Toronto; the goaltending situation get even more confusing

Flyers claim Calvin Pickard off waivers from Toronto; the goaltending situation get even more confusing

With opening night just two days away, the Flyers roster added 25-year-old goalie Calvin Pickard to their roster. After three seasons with the Colorado Avalanche where he played backup to Semyon Varlamov for two years before becoming the starting goaltender in 2016-17 with Varlamov out with an injury. The New Brunswick native was then selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 expansion draft but was traded to Toronto just before the season began but appeared in just one game for the Maple Leafs in 2017-18 and spent most of the season in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies. Appearing in 36 games (including playoffs) for the Marlies, Pickard served as the backup behind promising Leafs’ prospect Garret Sparks as Toronto went on to win the Calder Cup.

Pickard comes to the Flyers with 87 appearances over his four-year career where he has posted a .913 save percentage and a GAA of 2.78. He figures to be a third goaltender but could see time early in the season as Michal Neuvirth and Alex Lyon are still recovering from injuries. When Neuvirth and Lyon return, it will be interesting to see what Ron Hextall decides to do with Pickard as the Flyers currently have six goaltenders within the organization: Brian Elliott, Michal Neuvirth, Alex Lyon, Anthony Stolarz, Carter Hart, and now Pickard. When the season begins on Thursday, Elliott is almost guaranteed to be the Flyers starter and Anthony Stolarz is rumored to begin the season with the Flyers as Alex Lyon and Michal Neuvirth will start the season on the injured reserve. With the addition of Pickard, by rule, he must stay with the team for thirty days which means the Flyers will carry three goalies for the first ten games. When Pickard’s grace time is over, at least one of Neuvirth, Pickard, or Stolarz will be waived.

 

As it stands, the Flyers goaltending situation looks as follows:

NHL: Brian Elliott, Anthony Stolarz, Calvin Pickard

AHL: Carter Hart, Branden Komm/Jason Kasdorf

Injured Reserve: Alex Lyon, Michal Neuvirth

 

Takeaways:

  • Brian Elliott is going to play most, if not all, of the Flyers ten games.

 

  • Carter Hart is going to get plenty of playing time until Alex Lyon, Pickard, or Stolarz are sent down.

 

  • The Flyers are protecting any chance of Carter Hart being forced into the NHL by having plenty of options should the injury bug bite the Flyers’ goaltenders more than they already have this season. Ron Hextall does not want to rush Hart.

 

  • Michal Neuvirth could be waived due to his injury concerns and have Lyon or Stolarz take on the backup role.

 

 

Dean is a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan (note the Carson Wentz photoshop) and an aspiring sportswriter. He is a student at Millersville University where he is studying sports journalism. The primary way of contacting Dean is at this email: dsnock@gnghockey.com.