The Flyers will have their captain and best player in uniform for tonight's game against San Jose as the NHL decided not to suspend Mike Richards for his hit on Florida Panthers' left winger David Booth on Saturday night.
Richards caught Booth with his head looking the other way, and threw a shoulder check that knocked the 24-year-old Booth out cold. The hit, while controversial, was a clean. Leading with his shoulder, Richie didn't leave his feet to make contact with Booth; it was unfortunate that a young player to Booth's caliber got injured, but that's hockey.
Colin Campbell, who is usually in charge of these decisions, was not involved in the final say because his son, Gregory Campbell, plays for the Panthers. Mike Murphy had the duty to decide whether or not the hit was worthy of a suspension or not; he made the correct call.
The league is usually very strict when it comes to questionable hits involving players wearing the Orange sweaters; however, Richards isn't known as a "dirty" player and doesn't have any previous history of controversial hits.
Honestly, I'm pleasantly surprised that he wasn't given a game or two to send a message to the Flyers—and the rest of the league.
Bartulis called up from Phantoms
The Flyers have recalled defenseman Oskars Bartulis from Adirondack, and the 22-year-old Latvian will be available to play against the Sharks. He'll wear No. 38.
Bartulis has two goals and an assist this year while playing for the Phantoms. In three seasons in the AHL, Bartulis has recorded 37 points and 113 penalty minutes.
It's unclear as of now whether or not the 6'2", 195-pound Bartulis will play against the Sharks. With that said, it's unlikely that he'll play in tonight's game. If he does, either Ole-Kristian Tollefsen or Danny Syvret will have the night off.
Brian Boucher will be in goal for his first start.
Flyers interested in Shanahan...again?
According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Flyers are talking to veteran free agent Brendan Shanahan about possibly playing for the Orange 'n Black.
Shanahan, 40, still feels that he has something left in the tank, and the Flyers have been interested in acquiring his services a few times in last couple of years. Last year, Shanny was highly touted by Philadelphia, but they didn't have the cap space to ink him so he signed with the Devils.
New Jersey released the grizzled vet after he failed to secure a significant role in the preseason. Shanny has 21 years of NHL experience under his belt, and wants to stay close to his family, which lives in New York. Philly seems to be a good fit considering it's a train ride away; however, the Canadiens and Bruins are also believed to be interested.
Personally, I would have been OK with this move prior to the start of the season, but I don't see where he fits into the lineup. He wants to play on at least the third line, but is it fair to bump Ian Laperriere to the fourth line or scratch Arron Asham—who is on a three-game scoring streak.
If Shanny does sign with the Flyers, what does this mean for Riley Cote? He doesn't get a lot of playing time as it is, but to add another forward into the mix, wouldn't Cote just be a waste of roster space and cap space? I'm a big Cote fan, but let's get real, there's no need for him, anymore.
For more Flyers' coverage, please go to my blog: Operation Orange Crush