After saying that Carter Hart was good to go less than 24 hours ago, the Philadelphia Flyers have now placed their starting goaltender on injured reserve, according to Olivia Reiner of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The team has also recalled Olle Lycksell from the AHL, and will place Max Willman on waivers later today.
Despite the IR placement, Hart was a full participant in practice today for the Flyers according to Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic. Even if the team has made the placement retroactive to his last appearance, it means Hart will not be able to play in tomorrow’s game against the San Jose Sharks. He could potentially return in time for Saturday’s match against the Los Angeles Kings, if deemed healthy. Head coach John Tortorella explained that Hart is still in concussion protocol but is expected to play this weekend.
It’s an odd situation but protecting their young starter is critical if the Flyers want to have any success in the second half of the season. The 24-year-old leads the league in appearances from a goaltender with 27, and has posted a 10-11-6 record with a .911 save percentage so far. Given that the team has won just a single game without Hart’s help, he is arguably the most important player on the roster at the moment.
Willman, meanwhile, has played in nine games so far this year and doesn’t have a single point. The 27-year-old last played on December 13, and will likely clear waivers without issue.