Will Flyers bring back Kent Huskins next season?

Will Flyers bring back Kent Huskins next season?
April 22, 2013, 9:00 am
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The evaluation process for the Flyers has already begun.
Who goes and who stays?
Although the final tally isn’t in, it’s not hard to piece together a pretty good list of who won’t be back next season.
The tough thing is that at least one player, Kent Huskins, got the short end of the stick here during his eight games with the Flyers.
He was concussed after taking a blatant head shot from Montreal’s Ryan White (who suspended for five games) on April 15 and is not expected to return this season.
Huskins, who came to the Flyers in late March following consecutive injuries (first to Andrej Meszaros, then Braydon Coburn) was playing for a new contract -- and playing well, too.
Although he's 33, Huskins is a perfect seventh defenseman for any club. When thrust into a starting role, he quickly showed he was a steady, calming influence on the back end.
There is a debate whether to keep him around as a seventh man next season. Right now, the organization is leaning toward using one of their younger players in that role. Perhaps even Oliver Lauridsen, who was called up from the Adirondack Phantoms for the first time in his career and is starting now because of injuries.
“Kent has played very well,” general manager Paul Holmgren said. “He isn't a flashy, dynamic player, but he is experienced, and he’s been around and played a lot of games. He moves the puck up the boards and for the most part he’s done that. It’s unfortunate he got hurt.”
Huskins was Chris Pronger’s teammate in Anaheim when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007.  
“He’s been around the block a few times and he’s played in a lot of big games and it shows,” Holmgren said. “He played on a Stanley Cup champion. That experience is something that you can’t teach young players. When you have a guy ... and we were missing an older [veteran], that’s what he brought to our team. We pretty much know what Kent did and what he does for a team. He’s not going to rush the puck end to end. He is going to play defense and move the puck up. He’s a quality person.”
Holmgren would not commit to saying whether Huskins comes back, but it doesn’t look good.
“We will certainly consider it, but it’s too early,” Holmgren said. “We will evaluate a couple of guys over the coming month or so.”
Right now, Huskins, Kurtis Foster, Mike Knuble, Ruslan Fedotenko and Jody Shelly likely won’t be back.
If Simon Gagne takes a considerable pay cut –- he said again this weekend that family considerations and his Flyers roots are more important than money -– he could get re-upped.
It might very well come down to Gagne vs. Adam Hall, who joined the Flyers at the trade deadline.

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