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Cal Petersen Embracing Opportunity With Flyers: ‘It’s one that I’ve waited for’

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Cal Petersen made his first start for the Philadelphia Flyers since Nov. 11 on Saturday night. (Photo: AP)

Seven months ago, it looked as though Cal Petersen’s time in the NHL was close to running out, having been sent to the Philadelphia Flyers as a salary cap dump in the Ivan Provorov trade.

Instead, unforeseen circumstances vaulted the 29-year-old from the AHL back to the NHL. With Sam Ersson now serving as the de facto starter for the foreseeable future and lacking other options for backup goalies, the Flyers need Petersen to seize this second chance more than ever.

Petersen knows this is an opportunity that won’t knock at his door twice.

“I obviously understand the opportunity,” Petersen acknowledged bluntly after his win against the Seattle Kraken. “It’s one that I’ve waited for for a long time. I’m still going to keep that day-to-day mentality, but again, it’s an opportunity I don’t want to let go to waste.”

The Flyers have already doubled down on their commitment to Ersson as their starter, but are weighing the risks of overworking the standout rookie.

“Cal’s going to play; we’re not going to burn out Sam,” head coach John Tortorella said on Friday. “We got to be really careful there. Cal will play. I know where it’s going to be; I’m not going to talk about it now.”

The good news for Petersen is that, even though he won’t play a lot, he’ll play with some regularity. Tortorella and the Flyers appear to have already planned starts in advance for the Waterloo, Iowa native, given Ersson maintains his clean bill of health for the rest of the year.

“It’s been a challenging couple of years, but I think it’s made me a lot stronger,” Petersen said of his last years with the Los Angeles Kings.

He had a disappointing 2021-22 campaign for the Kings, going 20-14-2 with only a .895 save percentage to show for it. Petersen did, however, come up with a career-high three shutouts. The 2022-23 season saw things snowball further when Petersen stumbled to a .868 save percentage and 3.75 GAA, which forced the Kings to send him down to the Ontario Reign in the AHL.

After a brief stint with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Petersen is back in the NHL with the Flyers with the opportunity of a lifetime – one that will permanently alter the course of his career.

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GMan

I would really prefer that the team make an attempt to pick up another backup. If not, then maybe sign Martin Jones in the off season since the handwriting is on the wall that Hart has played his last game for the team and possibly his career is over.
There are 29 games left and four sets of B2B’s. Peterson will need to get at least 6-7 starts. Unfortunately one pair of B2B is NYR/Pitt and another is Bost/FLA.
Assuming they trade Laughton and 2-3 defensemen, it’ll hurt their playoff chances after the trade deadline, but of course strengthen the rebuild.

Butch

They don’t need a backup and to get 1 would be to expensive and the Flyers are trying t get assets not give them up. They aren’t going very far with or without a backup so why bother. Kolosov will be here next year anyway.

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