Flyers Notes: MacEwen Claimed Off Waivers, Hayes Goes on LTIR
With under 72 hours to go until the Flyers drop the puck on the 2021-22 season, Chuck Fletcher had one more move up his sleeve. Another waiver claim made on Wednesday added another new face to the roster, just in time for Friday’s season opener.
The Flyers claimed forward Zack MacEwen from the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. To make room for MacEwen on the roster under the salary cap limit, the Flyers placed Kevin Hayes on long-term injured reserve.
MacEwen, 25, has spent the last three seasons with the Canucks, scoring six goals and nine points in 55 career NHL games. He also has 37 goals and 96 points in 155 games with the Utica Comets in the AHL, including 22 goals and 52 points in 69 games in the 2018-19 season.
MacEwen is a 6’3”, 205-pound center/winger that is known for his size and physicality. He has 69 penalty minutes in the NHL and 156 penalty minutes in the AHL, mostly from his nine NHL fights and eight AHL fights, according to HockeyFights.com. He also had two fights in this preseason with Vancouver.
In placing Hayes on LTIR, he is officially out for the first 10 games of the 2021-22 season. LTIR rules indicate that once a player is placed on the list, he is not available for a minimum of 10 games and 24 days. That would put Hayes on track to make his season debut on Nov. 10 against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the earliest.
With the addition of MacEwen to the roster, it gives the Flyers 13 healthy forwards along with their six defensemen and two goalies. That could change though. Placing a player on LTIR allows a team to exceed the salary cap limit, which gives the Flyers approximately $6.3 million in available cap space to call up another defenseman if needed.
In the event that MacEwen joins new faces like Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen, Keith Yandle, Cam Atkinson, Derick Brassard, Nate Thompson, Martin Jones and fellow waiver-claim Patrick Brown in Friday’s lineup, that will mean that nine players in the opening night lineup will be new additions from last season’s roster.
There will be a better sense of what the lineup for Friday after Thursday’s practice, specifically the placement of Brown and MacEwen, as well as the status of Ellis and Ristolainen. Both defensemen have missed several practices in a row following the final preseason game with maintenance for what Alain Vigneault described as “bumps and bruises.”
The Flyers open up the 2021-22 season on Friday night when MacEwen’s former team, the Vancouver Canucks, come to Philadelphia at 7 p.m.