Philadelphia Flyers Change Roster: Who's in and Who's out of the NHL Lineup?

Jason SapunkaCorrespondent IIOctober 19, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Brayden Schenn #10 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the New York Rangers during an NHL preseason game at Wells Fargo Center on September 26, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Brayden Schenn might be making his Philadelphia Flyers debut on Thursday night, after recently being called up from the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms.

The Flyers announced the move on Wednesday through their official website.

Additionally, Zac Rinaldo and Harry Zolnierczyk were loaned to the Phantoms. Jody Shelley's suspension is over and the enforcer is eligible to play.

Rinaldo delivered one assist in five games, averaging 5:43 in ice team. He is currently fifth in the NHL in penalty minutes. Including the preseason, Rinaldo leads all Flyers with four fights.

Zolnierczyk scored his first career NHL goal in Tuesday night's game against the Ottawa Senators. He totaled 6:40 of ice time in the game, which was his NHL debut.

All of these roster moves will result in changes to the lineup that will skate in Thursday night's home game against the Washington Capitals.

Schenn's call-up is a giveaway that he will most likely be added into the lineup immediately. Shelley should be expected to play; he was a lineup regular last season, and the toughness brought by Rinaldo will need to be replaced.

In 58 games last season, Shelley totaled four points and 127 penalty minutes. He fought 12 times, one short of Dan Carcillo's team-leading 13.

Shelley was suspended for five preseason games and five regular-season games after delivering a hit to Darryl Boyce of the Toronto Maple Leafs on September 21.

Schenn was sent to the AHL after playing with the team during preseason. He scored four goals with four assists in four games with the Phantoms. The eight total points is tied for third-most in the league.

Despite sustaining a minor injury during the preseason, Schenn's AHL performance shows he is clearly back to form. He told Philly Sports Daily, "it feels like my shoulder is back where it used to be."

The Flyers' top two lines will likely not be affected by Schenn's arrival or Shelley's eligibility to play.

However, the bottom two lines previously consisting of Matt Read, Sean Couturier, Max Talbot, Scott Hartnell, Andreas Nodl and Zac Rinaldo will change.

Philly Sports Daily reported that coach Peter Laviolette used the following line combinations during Wednesday's practice:

Nodl Couturier Talbot
Read Hartnell Shelley

Assuming Shelley takes Rinaldo's spot in the lineup, Nodl is likely going to be the healthy scratch if Schenn is added. Nodl's average time on ice of 10:09 is the lowest of any active player. He was scratched for Zolnierczyk before Tuesday's game against the Senators.

Schenn could easily replace Nodl as the third line's left-winger, creating these combinations:

Schenn Couturier Talbot
Read Hartnell Shelley

However, this would leave Hartnell on the fourth line. Talbot has centered the fourth line all season, and has averaged 20 fewer points per season than Hartnell. It makes sense for Hartnell to be on a higher line.

If Hartnell, a left-winger, does switch lines, that would create these combinations:

Hartnell Couturier Schenn
Read Talbot Shelley

Additionally, Nodl could be dressed instead of Shelley.

Hartnell Couturier Schenn
Read Talbot Nodl

The roster movements certainly leave some questions for the Flyers, which will be answered when Coach Laviolette announces his lineup for Thursday night's game.

Will Schenn and/or Shelley dress?

Will Hartnell drop to the fourth line?

Will Nodl be able to keep his roster spot?

When will Rinaldo and/or Zolnierczyk return to the NHL?

Regardless of what the bottom two lines end up looking like, it has to be a pleasure for the Flyers and fans alike to know their depth in options is as plentiful as it is.