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What is his role?
Log the big minutes.
When Pronger is healthy, the Flyers are used to having him and Kimmo Timonen on the ice frequently, whether on the power play, penalty kill or at even strength.
With Pronger out (as well as Andreas Lilja and Erik Gustafsson), the Flyers find themselves with players who are supposed to be in the AHL making up one-third of the team’s defense.
While Marc-Andre Bourdon and Kevin Marshall deserve a shot at the NHL level, coach Peter Laviolette will need to keep them on the bench in crucial moments if he wants to continue to win.
Carle’s versatility makes him the best candidate to take up Pronger’s ice time. He may not have the size and shot that Pronger has, but his skating ability and defensive responsibility make him an important part of a complex puzzle on the back end.
All four major defensemen will bear the brunt of the responsibility, but Carle will need to adjust his style of play more than the others.
Will he step up?
On par with his new responsibility, Carle led the team in even-strength and total ice time during Thursday’s game against Pittsburgh.
He doesn’t necessarily need to be productive, but he needs to play enough to keep players like Timonen and Andrej Meszaros fresh to step up their game as well.