Fifteen months ago, Anthony Stolarz was the one goaltender the Flyers protected as part of the Vegas expansion draft.
Now the 2012 second-round pick has been placed on waivers, where he can be claimed by any team willing to place him on its active roster. General manager Ron Hextall seemed optimistic that Stolarz might go untouched.
"It's why players don't get claimed, because you've got to keep him on the roster," Hextall said Wednesday. "You can't sit and not make a move because you're worried about guys getting picked up. If you believe it's the right move, you do it."
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Teams may be hesitant to claim Stolarz considering he has just seven games of NHL experience in 2016-17 and was limited to one AHL game last season in his return from knee surgery.
However, it wasn't a move out of necessity. The Flyers didn't have to risk exposing Stolarz by sending Dale Weise to Lehigh Valley after the forward had cleared waivers earlier in the week.
Stolarz served as Brian Elliott's backup Thursday night in Vegas. It was the first time he was on the Flyers' roster since April 9, 2017.
Now the looming question moving forward is how the Flyers handle their goaltenders once Michal Neuvirth returns to the team, which would leave the team with three goaltenders since Calvin Pickard has to remain on the active roster for a period of 10 games or 30 days.
Neuvirth skated extensively Thursday at T-Mobile Arena prior to the season opener as he inches closer toward a return.
"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, but it's not a perfect situation if that's what you're asking me," Hextall said.
If Stolarz clears waivers, he'll be loaned back to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and will serve as the backup to Carter Hart.