The first home NHL exhibition game of the season had no shortage of story lines for the Flyers.
It was the debut of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who allowed three goals and saw another score on an empty-netter as Toronto beat the Flyers, 4-2, Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
"I can't be satisfied with my performance," Bryzgalov said. "The game is a good test to understand what kind of shape you are in and what needs to be done to be fixed to get you close to game condition."
Trailing 2-0, the Flyers got on the board on a breakaway goal in the second period by Tomas Hyka. On Monday, the Flyers announced that Hyka was one of 15 cuts and would be returned to Gatineau, his junior team.
He packed his car and was on the way to the airport when general manager Paul Holmgren called and told Hyka that it was a mistake and that he wasn't waived. He reported back to the Flyers.
"It was crazy because I left and somebody called me and I am so happy to be back," Hyka said.
He had a similar reaction to scoring.
"I was very happy and hope to score another," he said.
When asked if he hopes to sign with the Flyers, the answer was predictable from the 18-year-old from the Czech Republic.
"I hope I will stay here," he said.
Erik Gustafsson scored for the Flyers with 2 minutes, 28 seconds left to cut Toronto's lead to 3-2, but then the Leafs finished matters by scoring the empty-net goal.
Even though it was an exhibition game, tempers flared when Toronto's Jay Rosehill and the Flyers' Jody Shelley exchanged several blows in a second-period fight.
Rosehill was retaliating for a hit by Shelley on Darryl Boyce.
Shelley was assessed a five- minute penalty for boarding, five minutes for fighting, and a game misconduct for the hit on Boyce. Rosehill received a two-minute penalty as the instigator, five minutes for fighting, and a 10-minute misconduct.
Afterward, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was asked if he thought Shelley would face a suspension for the hit.
"I haven't had a chance to take it back and look at it," Laviolette said. "Jody typically tries to play an honest game and I'm not sure where it will go from there."
In other news, Jaromir Jagr will play his first Flyers game on Friday in Detroit against the Red Wings. Jagr won't play Thursday in London, Ontario, against the Red Wings because of visa problems.
Earlier Wednesday, Sean Couturier, the Flyers' first- round draft choice, signed an entry-level contract with the team. Now comes the challenging part - attempting to make the roster this year.
Couturier, who turns 19 in December, was the Flyers' first-round pick (eighth overall) in the recent NHL draft. The pick was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the Jeff Carter trade.
The three-year entry-level deal is for $1.375 million per season, which includes $450,000 in performance bonuses per season, according to an NHL source.
"I am glad it is done and now I can really focus on trying to make the team," Couturier said after Wednesday morning's skate at the Skate Zone in Voorhees.
According to Holmgren, because of Couturier's age there are two options - either he makes the Flyers or plays junior hockey this season.
If he does make the team for good, then the Flyers would have to make a roster move. NHL teams are allowed 50 on the roster, and Couturier would be the 51st.
However, according to rules of the entry-level contract, he would not count on the roster until playing his 11th game.
If he doesn't stay with the team after he plays 10 games, he would return to junior hockey.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Couturier had a goal and an assist in his first game, on Tuesday, and didn't play Wednesday.
"One thing that's attractive to our coaches already is he has the ability to play in the defensive zone," Holmgren said.