Flyers Roster: Allison Clears Waivers, Foerster and Brink Splitting Time?
The Flyers final roster to open the 2023-24 season needs to be submitted by Monday. To start the weekend, the Flyers made a roster move that cleared up the forward picture slightly.
Wade Allison was placed on waivers, marking one of the difficult decisions the team has to make in the coming days. Allison, who turns 26 next Saturday, has battled injuries throughout his career and has yet to establish himself as a regular in John Tortorella’s lineup. As other young forwards have started to emerge, Allison slipped on the depth chart.
Allison did clear waivers on Saturday, meaning he will go to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and remain in the Flyers organization.
Last season, Allison played in 60 games, scoring nine goals and 15 points. His Flyers career consisted of 75 NHL games with 13 goals and 22 points.
Placing Allison on waivers cut the Flyers forward group down to 13 with both Tyson Foerster and Bobby Brink on the roster. Presumably, both have made the final roster, but their place in the lineup is hardly set.
In Thursday’s preseason finale, Foerster played while Brink was out of the lineup. If the Flyers are truly going to use a youth movement at forward and allow both to make the team, it’s counterproductive to have one of those players sitting out for an extended period of time.
Is it possible that the Flyers use both in a rotation early in the season?
“I don’t think it has to be every game. If we feel that both of them deserve to be here, that’s an avenue we can go to,” Tortorella said. “That’s the call we have to make each week, as far as how they’re playing.
“We want to play the kids, we do. But if we’re putting these young players in a spot that we think is hurting their development, they will go down. Those are decisions we’re going to have to make weekly as we go through it. Let’s say Bobby ends up playing for us. Maybe five or six games into it, it might be a little rich for him. I don’t know. It’s going to be constantly evaluating them. It doesn’t have to be every game, no, but it’s something we have to watch because of the stage we’re in as a team. Yeah, great, say ‘play the kids, play the kids,’ but if we’re hurting the kids while we’re doing this, then we have to step back because that isn’t the right way to go through the process.
“It’s probably going to be a constant question, and I understand the question, but that’s going to have to be answered all year long because that’s going to be a constant evaluation of where they are and how they are going about it.”
The same will go on the defensive side. The Flyers currently have eight defensemen on the roster with both Egor Zamula and Emil Andrae serving as the young players battling for roster spots. The Flyers also have veterans Sean Walker, Nick Seeler, and Marc Staal that will fill at least one spot in the lineup, but could also potentially take ice time away from Zamula and Andrae.
Waiving Allison brought the Flyers roster down to 24, so there are options for reaching the 23-man limit. The Flyers could carry all four of Foerster, Brink, Zamula, and Andrae to start the season by choosing to waive Felix Sandstrom. They could also choose to carry three goalies and ultimately send down either Foerster, Brink, or Andrae, each of whom is waiver-exempt.
It will be a season-long process, but the Flyers are already having to make some difficult decisions regarding roster spots and playing time. In the midst of a rebuild and with several prospects knocking on the door, that won’t be changing anytime soon.
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN. Follow him on social media @Kevin_Durso.
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