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Flyers’ Top Defenseman Returns to Lineup; What it Means

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Nick Seeler
The Flyers have gone just 4-5-2 without Nick Seeler in their lineup this month. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers are getting healthy on defense at the right time.

The Flyers officially announced on Saturday morning that top defenseman Nick Seeler would be returning to the lineup for Saturday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, and subsequently activated him from injured reserve.

Seeler, 30, has missed the last 11 games with a lower-body injury after blocking a Colton Parayko shot off his left ankle in the March 4 game against St. Louis. In Seeler’s absence, the Flyers have gone just 4-5-2, allowing four or more goals in six different games.

With Seeler back from injured reserve, the Flyers now have 26 players on their NHL roster. It is worth noting, however, that after the trade deadline, roster size limits are no longer in effect. This means the Flyers no longer have to adhere to the 23-player roster size limit.

On the other hand, it means the Flyers will likely soon return Ronnie Attard and/or Adam Ginning to the AHL to join the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for their Calder Cup playoffs push.

If Jamie Drysdale or Rasmus Ristolainen return from their injuries, the Flyers will be carrying nine defensemen on their roster, including Marc Staal, who has mostly served as a healthy scratch lately.

The Flyers wouldn’t want to harbor Attard or Ginning on their roster just for the sake of doing so, rather than getting them postseason experience with Lehigh Valley.

As for Seeler, it’s unclear who his defensive partner is likely to be when he returns to the Flyers lineup on Saturday, though Attard would make sense from a stylistic standpoint. Seeler has not played since his trusty defense partner Sean Walker was traded to Colorado ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

Egor Zamula will likely continue to play with Erik Johnson, leaving Ginning as the odd man out here.

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