Flyers fans took a collective sigh of relief when the news came through that Dan Cleary has signed in Detroit for a further year according to NHL.com
“I’m sorry to everybody for the drama that was created. It’s just not my style,” Cleary told the team’s website after arriving in Traverse City, Mich. for training camp. “Social media at times can be frustrating, but that’s the world we live in and I apologize to all of the writers, the Philly writers, but I’m a Red Wing and I’m proud to be a Red Wing.”
Apart from making the Flyers look a little stupid there appears to be no hard feelings Dan and I wish you all the best in Detroit. Flyers fans can forget the previous article I wrote about why you being a Flyer was the wrong move for the organisation and we can move onto another more current issue. Who should be filling the 3rd line left wing spot?
Holmgren has managed to see the light it seems and the position is open for competition according to csnphilly.com
“We were anxious to look at a few guys in that position anyway, so that’s certainly a good thing for us,” Holmgren said. “Tye McGinn, Mike Raffl…there’s a number of guys. Scott Laughton? Who knows? There should certainly be competition for a couple of spots up front I would think.”
Competition for spots is what I think is needed. With a host of players ready to take the 3rd line spot I have evaluated the options below.
The fans favorite would slot into the third line for the Flyers but has seemingly been ruled out by the front office.
“Holmgren also says Flyers “closed the door” on Gagne a couple days ago.” @sbaickerCSN
The Flyers seem set on a winger with a more physical presence and Gagné does not fit the bill. I would expect this position to be filled by a younger player coming through the system.
The Flyers number one prospect is my favorite to make the team this year providing he has a good camp. The Flyers know his potential as a two way player but there are doubts whether he can be a full time winger.
Laughton looked good in the five games he played last season and will be looking to make the jump to the senior team this season. If Laughton does not make the team Flyers fans will hope to see him play at the World Junior Championships.
McGinn would be a very versatile option for the Flyers if he is to make the team. Last season he even played on the top line with Giroux when Hartnell was injured.
This gives Lavi some flexibility with his lines as McGinn adds the physical presence that the Flyers are looking for in a winger. Out of all the options, if McGinn has a good camp I expect his experience last season to turn Lavi’s head.
A somewhat wildcard that the Flyers are riding high on Raffl is favored by some to claim the spot as his own. Playing on a line with Thomas Vanek at the IIHF World Championships has helped Raffl’s profile and the Flyers seem to believe he is NHL ready.
Whether he needs to spend some time in the AHL to adjust to the North American game remains to be seen. If he can adjust quickly in camp then the winger could be the natural selection ahead of McGinn and Laughton, especially if the Flyers believe Laughton needs more time to develop.
For now who gets the place it is too close to call. I like the idea of any of McGinn, Laughton or Raffl playing with the Flyers next season. Which leads me to ask, why were the Flyers interested in signing Dan Cleary in the first place?