Why not call up Hagg?
Down to four healthy defensemen, the Flyers re-called Brandon Manning and Oliver Lauridsen from AHL Lehigh Valley on Monday night.
Both players will be available for Tuesday's game against Pittsburgh.
Nick Schultz ("upper-body") has been officially ruled out against the Penguins; Carlo Colaiacovo is "questionable" after hobbling off the ice on Long Island.
Manning, 23, is the Flyers organization's lone representative at this weekend's AHL All-Star Game in Utica, N.Y. He led the Phantoms in scoring this season until he was passed by Nick Cousins last weekend.
Lauridsen, 25, earned his first promotion to the big club in nearly two years. He played 15 games for the Flyers in the lockout-shortened 2013 season.
Why didn't the Flyers decide on 19-year-old rookie Robert Hagg over Lauridsen?
Lauridsen is not viewed as an NHL defenseman. In fact, 29 other teams had a crack at him on waivers after training camp in September, required simply to pay his $600,000 one-way contract this year - regardless if he's in the AHL or NHL. He went unclaimed.
Hagg, 19, was named one of Sweden's three best players in the recently completed World Junior Championships in Toronto. The positionally-sound, smooth skater has handled himself well in 33 AHL games with the Phantoms. In his first game back with the Phantoms, he scored a power play goal in St. John's, Newfoundland.
Right now, he is the only key future piece of the Flyers' defense that the organization can get sneak a peek of at the NHL level. First round picks Samuel Morin (QMJHL) and Travis Sanheim (WHL) can only be re-called under emergency conditions. Shayne Gostisbehere (Phantoms) is still rehabbing his torn ACL injury and won't be playing again for another month.
It wouldn't hurt to get a look at Hagg now. The Flyers are more or less already out of the Stanley Cup playoff race. An unimaginable 23-8-4 run to close the season would not likely be enough to get in.
"The one thing Hagg has got is a pretty good IQ of the game, when you talk about our team and system and structure and the different reads you have to make," Phantoms coach Terry Murray told the Allentown Morning Call last week. "Even our talks about adjustment between periods, he can adjust to that and gets it. Those are the players that have a real upside to their game. Those are the guys who end up breaking through to the next level."
Sure, the Flyers would need to be careful not to toll a year on Hagg's contract. According to Section 9.1(d)(i) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, this year would count as a "slide" year and not burn one season off his three-year, entry-level contract so long as he does not appear in 10 NHL games this season.
Schultz and Colaiacovo are unlikely to be out long-term. Even if they were, Hagg would probably not make it to 10 games before Nick Grossmann (right shoulder) and Braydon Coburn (left foot) make it back to the lineup.
Giving Hagg a whirl would be a no-harm, no-foul glimpse into the Flyers' future - and a shot in the arm for a team that desperately needs one.
On Twitter: @frank_seravalli