Flyers’ Rebuild Underway as They Recall D-man; Tippett Banged Up
The Philadelphia Flyers’ rebuild is underway.
They made their second of four allowed recalls Monday, bringing up defenseman Egor Zamula from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Tyson Foerster, who scored his first NHL goal in Saturday’s 5-4 overtime loss to Carolina, was the first official callup.
Zamula, who turns 23 on March 30, will be in the lineup Tuesday against visiting Florida, coach John Tortorella said. He played 11 early-season games with the Flyers (two assists, minus-1).
“I play big minutes over there every night, on the PK, power play, and everywhere,” Zamula said of his time with the Phantoms, “so I’m in good shape right now.”
Tortorella expects Zamula and Foerster to play three games with the Flyers this week before sending them back to the Phantoms.
At Monday’s practice, Zamula was on the extra pairing, with Justin Braun. He figures to be on the third pairing Tuesday, but Tortorella wasn’t yet sure about his partner.
“We feel he’s ready to be looked at,” Tortorella said.
Struggled with game’s speed
Tortorella said the 6-foot-3 Zamula “is long and takes up a lot of space. The thing that caught our eye was his ability to see the ice. It looks like he has the ability to make a play. Before we sent him back down, I thought it was a struggle for him (with) the speed of what the game was being played here.”
He said Zamula “played a lot of good hockey” with the Phantoms. “We’re bringing him up here to see where he’s at at this pace.”
With Lehigh Valley, he had 16 points (1-15) in 42 games and was minus-5. He said he was sometimes playing 27, 28 minutes a night.
Zamula will probably play the left side Tuesday, and the Flyers may look at him on the right side later in the week, Tortorella said.
“He has size and range, and I think he has a lot of composure with the puck, which is good but also gets him in a little trouble at times,” said Braun, a veteran defenseman. “I like the patience he has, and his vision is really good, too. It’s good to see him out there and getting a chance again.”
Tippett exits early
Right winger Owen Tippett left the ice just before practice started. He walked off with someone from the medical staff.
After practice, the Flyers said he was “banged up,” and had a maintenance day. He will play Tuesday against his former team, per Tortorella.
Tippett, 24, has scored 21 goals and is one of the Flyers’ MVP candidates, along with right winger Travis Konecny and goaltender Carter Hart.
The 6-1, 207-pound winger has five points (three goals, two assists) over his last two games.
Tortorella said he has not seen progress in Tanner Laczynski’s game and that, “I need to see more” from the center. … Konecny and Sean Couturier took part in practice while wearing yellow, non-contact jerseys. … Florida will be playing on back-to-back nights Tuesday when it faces the Flyers. The Panthers scored a 5-2 win Monday in Detroit. … The Flyers and Panthers have split a pair of 4-3 decisions this season. … Tippett, of course, was acquired from Florida as part of the Claude Giroux trade last season. … The Philadelphia Flyers’ other lines today: Noah Cates centering Joel Farabee and Kieffer Bellows (Tippett’s replacement); Morgan Frost centering Brendan Lemieux and Foerster; Scott Laughton centering Kevin Hayes and Wade Allison; and Couturier centering Nick Deslauriers and James van Riemsdyk.