It was announced this morning that Flyers 4th liner, Chris VandeVelde will have a disciplinary hearing for hitting Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews in the head with an elbow. Late in the 3rd period, VandeVelde went to the boards to interrupt Toews but threw an elbow high. VandeVelde was given a two-minute minor penalty for elbowing.
— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) March 17, 2016
That was a pretty obvious elbow, but it could end up helping the Flyers more than it hurts them. With Jake Voracek about to return from injury, there’s been a lot of talk about who would be scratched to make room. In the games that Voracek has been injured, a number of players have stepped up to make the Flyers an offensive threat no matter what line was on the ice…except maybe the 4th line.With Voracek coming back
With Voracek coming back, the most likely candidates to join Umberger in the press box were Gagner, Laughton, Cousins and even Raffl was thrown in there. Obviously, none of those players would be the best option, but Hakstol has shown that he would bench Connor McDavid if it meant he could keep that 4th line together.
VandeVelde hasn’t been the best player lately, and it would make the most sense to scratch him and refit the 4th line with someone like Michael Raffl. If VandeVelde gets suspended a roster spot opens up without having to sacrifice one of the secondary scorers.
As a first-time offender, it will likely be a short suspension, but it was pretty bad looking. Out of character for VV.
— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) March 17, 2016
Also did you know that Chris VandeVelde once played on the same team as Jonathan Toews at the University of North Dakota? And that they were both coached by Dave Hakstol? Small world right?