In conjunction with announcing today’s training camp cuts, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher also announced that the team has added veteran forward Cal O’Reilly to camp on a professional tryout (PTO).
O’Reilly, 35, hasn’t played in the NHL since a one-game call-up to the Minnesota Wild in 2017-18. Before that, however, he spent quite a bit of time bouncing up and down between the NHL and AHL. After the Nashville Predators selected him 150th overall in the 2005 NHL Draft, he stayed in the organization through the beginning of the 2011-12 season. In Nashville, O’Reilly never managed to crack the lineup full-time but did finish his Predators career with 11 goals, 24 assists and 35 points in 85 games. Just a few weeks into the season, though, Nashville dealt O’Reilly to the then-Phoenix Coyotes for a fourth-round pick, essentially moving up one round in total value while also getting a solid, yet brief NHL stint out of O’Reilly. After just five points in 22 games, though, the Coyotes attempted to waive O’Reilly, whom the Pittsburgh Penguins claimed for the remainder of the season, where he had one assist in six games.
After playing 33 games in that busy 2011-12 season, O’Reilly would only see NHL ice again in three more seasons: 20 games with the Buffalo Sabres in 2015-16, another 11 games with the Sabres in 2016-17, and that one-game call-up in Minnesota in 2017-18. O’Reilly did remain in the Wild organization for another season after that, though, serving as the captain of the AHL’s Iowa Wild from 2017 to 2019.
O’Reilly’s technically been in the Flyers organization ever since, spending the last three seasons as a leader for the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Already signed to an AHL contract for 2022-23, O’Reilly will enter his third straight season as the Phantoms’ captain. His 53 points last season were his most since he scored 67 points in 67 games during his last season in Iowa.
With Philadelphia’s depth continuing to get hit by injuries, the Flyers will have O’Reilly in camp to evaluate if he’s still NHL call-up material at age 35. He essentially comes in (maybe just temporarily) to replace one of the team’s other PTO additions, Artem Anisimov, who currently is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.