The Philadelphia Flyers were able to secure a point against the New Jersey Devils earlier this afternoon, but the cost appears to have been high. Defenseman Michael Del Zotto left the contest with 12:30 remaining in the third period after colliding into Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth along with Devils forward Kyle Palmieri.
The team is calling it an upper-body injury, which had lead some pundits to believe that Del Zotto has injured his left wrist. He’s reportedly been playing with it taped up lately while trying to play through it.
Del Zotto has upper body injury that might be left wrist, which has been taped up lately. Since it's long-term, MacDonald could get callup.
— Rob Parent (@ReluctantSE) February 13, 2016
We don’t have a precise time frame just yet, but Flyers general manager Ron Hextall didn’t mince words when describing the injury. He spoke to gathered media following the Devils game, and spoke about it. Dave Isaac of The Philadelphia Courier-Post captured the following comments when Hextall was asked for a timeline:
“I don’t know yet. Probably weeks for sure.”
Head coach Dave Hakstol also spoke at length about what Del Zotto has brought to the table for the Flyers this season:
“He’s taken on a real two-way role for us. He’s been a good penalty killer. He gets a good chunk of every PK. With that development, we get back at it right away (Sunday). We’ll take a couple hours and evaluate things and decide how we put the pairs together as we go into (Sunday’s) game.”
The 25-year-old defenseman had been skating alongside rookie Shayne Gostisbehere, and the results have been staggering. “Ghost” set a new NHL record for most consecutive games with a point against New Jersey, and he may be leaned on even more down the stretch.
Del Zotto’s injury also creates an opportunity for Andrew MacDonald, who the team has recalled from the AHL. The 29-year-old has been buried in the minors all season long, but now has a chance to show the brass in Philadelphia that he can still play at the NHL level. The organization’s other internal option is Evgeny Medvedev, who hasn’t played since February 7.