Roman Lyubimov Makes his Flyers, NHL Debut Tonight
CHICAGO — Leading the stretches at center ice as the Flyers finished up their morning skate was the one guy who has seen more practice time than nearly everyone.
Roman Lyubimov, a 24-year-old Russian who signed as a free agent to play in North America for the first time, will make his NHL debut Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“This isn’t the easiest place in the league probably to play your first NHL game, but he’s not a young kid,” coach Dave Hakstol said. “He’s shown excellent maturity all the way through camp. He goes out and does his job and we expect he’ll do that tonight.”
Lyubimov was a healthy scratch for the first two games with the Flyers already down a forward as Brayden Schenn serves a suspension that will end with the completion of Tuesday night’s game, but Hakstol insists that Lyubimov earned a spot on the team.
“Lyuby, I’ve said all the way along that he deserves to get an opportunity to be in the lineup and we wanted to make sure it was the right time for our team for him to go in,” Hakstol said. “Just feel like this is a good opportunity for him to go in and get an opportunity in time. Also with the shift of Matt Read going to the left side with (Pierre-Edouard Bellemare) and (Dale) Weise, it’s a sensible time to put Lyuby in on the right side.”