Jones and Parent Skating… Who Will Go to Make Room?


It's been well-documented that the Flyers began the season at a significant disadvantage after losing Ryan Parent and Randy Jones to injury before the regular season started, as well as the indefinite absence of Derian Hatcher. Minus these three rostered defensemen, as well as 07-08 captain Jason Smith, a defense that struggled at times last season looked lost early on.

But, just as the Flyers seem to have righted the ship and are riding a five-game winning streak, Parent and Jones returned to the ice in Voorhees yesterday, albeit in protective bubbles. It's not known when they will be ready for game action (maybe around Christmas), but Tim Panaccio reports that when they are, the Flyers will have some big decisions to make to stay under the cap and within the allowable roster space.

The Flyers are less than $200,000 under the $56.7 million salary cap.
Jones and Parent’s combined salaries are in excess of $3.6 million. At
least one player will have to go off the roster.

manager Paul Holmgren told recently that the initial plan
would be to send both players down to the Phantoms on a conditioning
assignment. When they’re ready, they would come up.

Parent has
a dual contract and could remain with the Phantoms. Jones would have to
rejoin the Flyers after his conditioning assignment because he is on a
one-way contract.

Panaccio previously told us he thought it might be Luca Sbisa who would depart, leaving Enrico in tears as Luca departed for Juniors. Sbisa continues to play pretty well, progressing even since we talked to Tim, so the decision would be primarily about contract portability. Ed Moran suggests it could be Lasse Kukkonen, who would be waived to the Phantoms.

It's encouraging that the defense has stabilized, and that Jones and Parent know they need to earn their spots. Who knew a month ago that we'd be talking about the Flyers having some depth at the blue line? Sure, there's still room for improvement, but we can't complain about what we've seen lately.

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