Before the Philadelphia Flyers went on to play split-squad preseason games against the Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, the team had already decided what to do with rookie goaltender Anthony Stolarz.
In a move to help trim their roster, the Flyers have sent Stolarz back to his junior team in the OHL so he can start in net for the London Knights. Stolarz only played in net for the Flyers in two preseason games, but that does not mean that the Flyers are disappointed in his performance. In fact, it’s the opposite case.
When he played in the rookie game against the Washington Capitals, he did not let a single goal in and when he subbed for Steve Mason in their preseason debut against the Maple Leafs he only let one goal in. Letting that goal in did affect the outcome of the game, but considering that he is a rookie goalie just getting his feet wet in the NHL, we can’t really fault him for that one goal.
So far, the organization has been happy with his performance, and the netminder is only being sent back due to his inexperience. While Mason and Ray Emery fight for the starting position, a green goalie like Stolarz is not NHL ready. He is the future of the team, and the Flyers know that, but he has a few years to go before he gets the start as the Flyers goaltender.
Stolarz is pretty much the only good goalie prospect that the team has in the system, so they really want to make sure he has developed well in his position rather than putting too much pressure on him this early in his career. We will see Stolarz in net as the Flyers starting goaltender, just not this season.