CHICAGO — Flyers general manager Ron Hextall didn't sound as if he wants to use Michal Neuvirth and Anthony Stolarz as his goalie tandem this season.
Both goalies are under contract, and Stolarz was protected in the expansion draft. Neuvirth was unprotected, but Vegas didn't select him.
Right now, Neuvirth is the Flyers' No. 1 goalie. Steve Mason can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, and it appears he will play for another team.
"Neuvy's a really good goalie. If we can get another guy and do what Neuvy and Mase have done the last couple years, that's kind of what we envision," Hextall said at the NHL draft's hotel headquarters in Chicago . "Is it Mase? Is it a free agent? Is it a trade? I don't have the answer to that. We expect to do a platoon. Neuvy's too good to say, 'He's your backup and he's going to play 20 games.' "
At the end of last season, Mason said he was unhappy with a platoon and needed to be a No. 1 goalie.
Stolarz was impressive in a seven-game stint (2.07 goals-against average, .928 save percentage) with the Flyers last season and he is rehabbing nicely from knee surgery.
Does Hextall see him being Neuvirth's backup?
"We'll see if we find an option for us that's better for us short-term," Hextall said. "Stolie's an option. Is he the best option? I don't know if I can quite say that. He's young. Neuvy, we all know the history of injuries. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with Stolie, and him given Neuvy's history of injuries — and Stolie's inexperience — [and] putting them both together."
Hextall may make a deal at the draft or he might pursue the goalie free-agent market July 1. Among the prospective free-agent goalies besides Mason: Jonathan Bernier, Brian Elliott, Anders Nilsson, Keith Kinkaid, and Ryan Miller.
Nico Hischier, who could be taken by the Flyers with the second overall draft pick Friday, has played some right wing in the past, but he prefers center because "you're more impacting in the D zone, and that's what my game is about." … On Twitter, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who went to Vegas in the expansion draft, saluted the Flyers and the "even more unbelievable fans. Thanks for the love and support Philly."