BRAYDEN SCHENN skated off the ice under his own power in Montreal on Wednesday night, hobbling a little bit after blocking a P.K. Subban howitzer with his left foot in the first period.
With Schenn, 20, on the ice to finish the remaining two periods, his injury was an afterthought after the game. It's a fairly normal occurrence to watch a hockey player limp out of an arena after a game.
Last night, Schenn was hobbling around the press box at the Wells Fargo Center - this time, with a walking boot, thanks to a fracture in his foot.
Schenn will be out for 4 to 6 weeks, according to general manager Paul Holmgren. His addition to the Flyers' growing long-term injury list freed up the necessary cap space for Holmgren to make roster moves that likely were going to happen anyway.
The Flyers recalled defenseman Erik Gustafsson and forward Zac Rinaldo yesterday, with their combined salaries ($1.444 million) fitting well underneath the cushion granted with Schenn's injury ($1.69 million).
Gustafsson, who played three games with the Flyers last season, arrived at the arena with Rinaldo only 2 hours before game time. The two practiced with the Phantoms in Glens Falls, N.Y., in the morning before being summoned for a 4-hour car ride.
It wasn't for naught. Gustafsson replaced defenseman Matt Walker, who was a healthy scratch only 1 night after being responsible for two goals-against in Montreal. Walker, 31, played only 7:20 in the game against the Canadiens, 1:42 of that coming late in the third period of a four-goal game.
"He thinks the game and he moves the puck well," coach Peter Laviolette said of Gustafsson. "He's had a terrific start in our organization, even though the majority of it hasn't been up here. He's been in the minors, and he's played extremely well."
Rinaldo, 21, skated on a line with Max Talbot and Jody Shelley. He notched his first NHL point on Oct. 18 in Ottawa before being sent to Adirondack the next day. Andreas Nodl was a healthy scratch for the third game in a row.
The conventional wisdom was that Walker, who did not need to clear waivers again, would be sent back to Adirondack so his $1.7 million salary-cap hit could allow Gustafsson and another forward to be recalled.
Now, with Schenn on the long-term injury list for at least the next nine games or 23 days, the Flyers have the luxury of carrying one extra defenseman on the roster. Even though the Flyers are one of two NHL teams to be exceeding the salary cap daily, they remain compliant with the league with the long-term injury exceptions for the salaries of Schenn, Blair Betts and Ian Laperriere. There is no limit to the number of players who can be on the long-term injury list throughout the course of the season.
Sean Couturier shrugged. Standing in the hallway outside the Flyers' locker room before last night's game, he was dressed in his pregame workout gear as if the night were like any other.
It wasn't. Couturier, 19, played in his 10th game of the season last night, meaning that his contract will now expire in June 2014, instead of June 2015, which would have been the case had he been sent back to his junior team before last night's game.
Couturier said the Flyers' brass never actually said anything to him about sticking around.
"I guess I kind of just figured it out on my own," Couturier said. "I'm still here."
In fact, it seems that there wasn't much of a discussion at all in the front office about Couturier's length of stay. Now, with Schenn out, Couturier will assume a bigger role with more even-strength minutes on the third line.
"Paul Holmgren makes those decisions, but I think we were all on the same page with regards to Sean," Laviolette said. "He's been solid."
Classic alumni update
Even though Eric Lindros and John LeClair will be back on the ice together on Dec. 31 for the Winter Classic alumni game against the Rangers, they'll fall just short of reuniting the vaunted "Legion of Doom" line with Mikael Renberg.
Renberg, 39, who spent parts of six seasons with the Flyers, will be in Calgary broadcasting the World Junior Championships as a commentator with Team Sweden.
So far, no plans have been announced to televise the alumni game locally.
Flyers defenseman and current radio analyst Chris Therien confirmed his participation in the event yesterday. We're hearing that Pat Quinn will be in town to coach the Flyers' alumni.
But what about Wayne Gretzky? At this point, it seems a longshot that "The Great One" will partake in the on-ice festivities at Citizens Bank Park. Then again, you never know what kind of sway old pal Mark Messier will have on Gretzky's New Year's plans.
"No, I'll be with my family for the holidays," Gretzky told ESPN.com yesterday when asked about the game. "Plus, they don't need to see a 50-year-old slow guy out there!"