What does Danny Syvret need to do in order to get a call from the Philadelphia Flyers?
In his 26 games with Philadelphia’s AHL affiliate this season, Syvret leads the Phantoms in scoring with 25 points (five goals, 20 assists). This is good enough for second among defensemen in the American Hockey League, and 20th overall among AHL scorers.
So far this season, Phantom players such as Andreas Nodl, Darroll Powe, Jonathon Kalinski, Josh Gratton, Jared Ross, Boyd Kane, and Nade Raduns have all gotten ice time in front of the Flyers.
Despite being among the most productive players within the AHL this season, Syvret has yet to roll his hockey bag across the parking lot to the Wachovia Center for some NHL action.
With Matt Carle, Randy Jones, Ossi Vaananen, and Ryan Parent all sidelined with injuries for stretches of time at various stages of the Flyers season thus far, it is surprising Syvret has yet to get a look with the big club, even as the seventh defenseman occasionally rotated into the lineup.
Is Lasse Kukkonen (a player deemed expendable by Philadelphia earlier this season when the Flyers placed him on waivers), so important to the Flyers that he can’t be sent down to the Phantoms to free up a few games for a hungry overachiever like Svyret?
Of course, it’s entirely possible the Flyers are taking the same cautious approach with Syvret as they have with top forward prospect Claude Giroux.
Both Paul Holmgren and John Stevens have publicly stated that, absent significant opportunity for ice time with the Flyers, and highly-regarded prospects are better served remaining on the farm where they have the opportunity to play big minutes in all game situations.
Syvret, acquired in an off-season trade that sent Ryan Potulny to the Edmonton Oilers, arrived in Philadelphia with an impressive resume.
His accomplishments include a spectacular junior career that had Syrvet win the 2005 Memorial Cup as the captain of the London Knights, along with gold medals in the 2005 World Junior Championship (playing with Flyers' Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Braydon Coburn), and 2007 Spengler Cup.
A small defenseman at 5’11", and 203 pounds, Syvret is not known for his physical play. The diminutive defenseman’s offensive game has been compared to Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman.
Six months after the trade that brought him to Philadelphia for Ryan Potulny, Syvret’s success at the AHL level this season have all indicators pointing to another superb trade engineered by Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren.
However, conclusive evidence won’t be available until Syvret gets a long look at the NHL level.