In a move that’s sure to solve their goaltending woes, the Philadelphia Flyers have claimed Mike McKenna off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The Canucks now face a dilemma in their minor league crease, given that Thatcher Demko has indeed been recalled as expected. For the Flyers, another goalie was needed after Michal Neuvirth suffered another minor injury. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher explained the decision:
Mike provides our organization added depth as we continue to battle injuries at the goaltending position. He is a veteran goaltender with a tremendous amount of professional experience.
Tremendous amount of experience may be an understatement when it comes to McKenna. The 35-year old goaltender has played just 34 games at the NHL level, but has suited up more than 500 times in the minor leagues since his debut in 2005. While Carter Hart is expected to carry the load, McKenna is a good option to hold the backup role until Neuvirth, Anthony Stolarz or Brian Elliott are ready to return to action.
McKenna’s claim is an interesting one for several other teams around the league, including the Canucks themselves. The team had only just acquired the veteran goaltender from the Ottawa Senators and obviously hoped they would be able to get him through waivers today. The Utica Comets, Vancouver’s AHL affiliate, were already without Richard Bachman due to a long-term injury and have now lost Demko to the NHL. That leaves them without a starting goaltender for now, something that Vancouver will have to address quickly.
Another is the Toronto Maple Leafs, who very well could have put in a claim on McKenna given their own injury woes in net. Frederik Andersen is still out with a groin injury and the team confirmed that Garret Sparks has been diagnosed with a concussion. That leaves Michael Hutchinson as the lone experienced goaltender in Toronto, something they clearly are uncomfortable with.