The Philadelphia Flyers didn’t think they were hard enough to play against last season. Right winger Cam Atkinson was among those who said it. Management has said it.
In the offseason, they signed hard-nosed left winger Nic Deslauriers to supposedly play on a line with another tough guy, Zack MacEwen. They were among the players with the most fights in the NHL last season.
And now they have invited 5-foot-11, 200-pound winger Antoine Roussel to training camp on a professional tryout offer (PTO). He will be with the team when on-ice activities begin Thursday.
Roussel is known as an agitator. At one point in his career, he had 100-plus penalty minutes in six straight seasons, a span started by 209 minutes for Dallas in 2013-14..
The Flyers had no identity last season. They apparently want it to be Broad Street Bullies II this year.
Roussel, who was born in France and turns 33 in November, had a career-high 31 points with Vancouver in 2018-19. Since then, he has been less than memorable. He had eight points (four goals, four assists) in 53 games for Arizona last season, and his advanced stats were awful.
If Roussel earns a starting spot over a young player like Noah Cates or Wade Allison, well, many will consider it a travesty.