Philadelphia Flyers: Previewing positional training camp battles

(Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Flyers
(Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /


The Flyers have huge organizational depth in goal, something that hasn’t been said in probably twenty years. For the first time in what seems like forever, the Flyers will be able to sit back and watch several young goalies try to do something that is so incredibly rare in the sport- make the opening night roster.

Goalies need seasoning, especially when they come from junior hockey or the European leagues. The NHL is just a different animal than the AHL or some of the elite leagues overseas. There’s more shot blocking, more anarchy in front of the net, and better shot selection. For a young goalie to step in and make the roster, there would have to be an incredibly high level of play.

Fortunately for the Flyers, they have Carter Hart.

Hart has long been labeled as the second coming of Ron Hextall, and while that may be a heavy burden to bear, Hart has done little to suppress the notion that he’s every bit as good as that label says he is.

In addition to Hart, the Flyers also have Felix Sandstrom, who is also very highly regarded and is somewhat of a 1B to Hart’s 1A right now in terms of the future. He will return to the Swedish Hockey League after an illness-plagued season in the hopes of showing the Flyers he’s no backup.

Hart is going to be one of the favorites to watch in camp. Don’t be surprised if he gets an extended look. The Flyers have six Goalies at camp right now with Hart, Alex Lyon, Michal Neuvirth, Brian Elliot, Anthony Stolarz, and Liam Hughes all vying for a spot. It should be a good battle to watch.

Stolarz and Lyon are both young guys that will be looking to prove something in camp, as both have had cups of tea at the NHL level and are hungry to show they can be relied on for more consistent work. Stolarz will need to prove he can still play at a high level after a knee injury last season.

Make no mistake- all eyes are on Hart. If he stands out by a mile, the Flyers may have no choice but to keep him, but it’s still a long shot. Elliot projects to the starter, but Neuvirth is no sure thing to be the backup, especially with his injury history. There’s a chance for Hart to do something very rare.