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Why Was Blair Betts Placed on Waivers? | October


This is all very confusing. Ok, you have to assume that Brayden Schenn is simply hiding under the Wells Fargo Center instead of on his way to Adirondack to save the club almost $1.5M in cap space. You have to start there.

And then you also have to assume that with Rinaldo still in Philadelphia, the Flyers are reserving a 12th forward spot for someone who has no skills. Whether it be Rinaldo or Shelley, or even Sestito, the Flyers are only icing 11 hockey players this season. That's at least the thinking going into it.

So with the top 7 spots spoken for by Briere, Giroux, van Riemsdyk, Voracek, Jagr, Simmonds, and Hartnell, and the 12th spot spoken for by a Mad Libs knuckle chucker, we've got 4 spots to account for - 2 on the third line and 2 on the fourth.

Conventional wisdom, and I believe it to be right in this case, would tell you that neither Schenn nor Couturier should be on the 4th line as offensively gifted rookies. It would also tell you that it's dangerous to have them both on the third line, as rookies are often looked at as defensive liabilities. So I'm lost there.

Read could probably play on the 4th line, but if he's as skilled offensively as his preseason performance hinted at, then he shouldn't be down there either. Read being 5 years older than Schenn and 7 years older than Couturier (and that college degree, baby), maybe Laviolette is banking on him being more prepared defensively than either other rookie. Maybe he balances out the youth with his need to shave.

Even though we're handicapping our 4th line with a goon instead of breaking the mold and putting Talbot and Nodl with Rookie X, it appears there was no room for Betts anywhere but in the press box. But I would have thought that the Flyers would want him there for injury's sake, at least bad enough that they would waive Shelley (maybe they can't while he's suspended?) or at least demote Rinaldo to start the season. Maybe Rinaldo making $166k less than Betts had something to do with it? Maybe we're that up against the cap? It don't know. All I did was start typing on Blogspot 4 years ago.

But what is extremely troubling to me is this - that Laviolette and Holmgren did not have a conversation that Ed Snider then signed their T&E for from Chipotle as both a symbolic and functional gesture. A conversation in which they said "let's change our game plan from putting out 3 lines that can play and a 4th line that gets 3 minutes of ice and gives me agita to putting out 4 lines that can play and rely on true team toughness."

In the end Betts, if he gets claimed on waivers, will have been a victim of a nostalgic love for the enforcer. Something that Flyers management needs to catch up to Flyers fans in moving past.