On Monday Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that veteran forward Bill Guerin, on a tryout with the team, had been cut from the roster.
When it came down to it, the 39 year old Guerin lost his spot to the young, 23 year old Andreas Nodl. Guerin has played over 1,300 games in the NHL; Nodl has played less than 60. This maturity and potential leadership wasn’t enough to make up for his play during the preseason – which was a disappointment to say the least.
“We were all hoping he’d add something,” Holmgren noted.
“We just didn’t see him helping us moving forward.”
Guerin, after notching 21 goals and 45 points alongside Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins last season, was hoped to be a match with a playmaker such as Claude Giroux, who has the hands to set him up much the way Crosby had done.
Instead, Guerin showed what may have been complacency – stemming from the general consensus that a player of his caliber was almost a sure shot to make the roster – as he failed to impress during the preseason.
In five games Guerin posted a single goal (and a fluky one at that), and a minus-2 rating. While it is just the preseason, and perhaps not everyone is playing their best game, that’s not a luxury Guerin could afford, working to make the team on a tryout.
In the end, Andreas Nodl – who has had trouble translating his AHL scoring touch to the NHL level – was the better fit. Playing with more desire and energy, with youth on his side, Nodl proved he could do the same and more.
Along with Guerin, six other Flyers were cut from the roster. These six were designated to the Phantoms in the AHL. Forwards Mike Testwuide, David Laliberte, Ben Holmstrom, and Jon Kalinski as well as defensemen Erik Gustafsson and Marc-Andre Bourdon – who both had impressive showings during preseason and training camp, but ultimately fell victim to the Flyers’ defensive depth.
The Flyers also waived Johan Backlund as Sergei Bobrovsky takes a spot alongside Brian Boucher to start the season. Holmgren has even hinted that Bobrovsky may start a game or two in the first couple of weeks of the season, so look for him to turn that preseason magic into regular season success.
With Laperriere and Leighton out – filled in by the additions of Nodl and Bobrovsky, respectively – the Flyers have their 23 man roster set and ready for opening day as they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday to kick off the 2010-2011 season.