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December 1, 2005 - Flyers will take time on Primeau

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Flyers will take time on Primeau

General manager Bob Clarke said he will wait as long as it takes to get Keith Primeau back in the lineup, but in the meantime the Flyers have placed their captain on the long-term injured list.

The move, according to Clarke, has nothing to do with any decision by Primeau or the team with regard to his ability to return from his latest concussion - it was done only to make his salary available under the new NHL economic guidelines.

Any player who is not available to the team for a significant period of time can be placed on the list and his salary can be subtracted from the team's cap until he returns.

Primeau is scheduled to visit the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he will be examined by Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz, who specializes in balance disorders. He has missed the last 15 games with concussion symptoms resulting from a hit during the game against Montreal on Oct. 25. Primeau can return from the long-term injury list at any time since he has already missed the minimum of 10 games.

Primeau is said to be improving and "having good days." But that means he's gone through extended periods during the day where he doesn't have symptoms. He has yet to have a full day symptom-free.

Still, the Flyers said they will leave any decision up to Primeau and will give him as much time as he needs.

"I think [when he comes back] is pretty much up to him," Clarke said. "As long as he's confident that he's going to come back and wants to come back and play, then we'll wait forever."

He said having Primeau on the long-term list frees up $3 million from their cap. That money will go back against the total if Pri-meau returns.

"As soon as Keith comes back, his $3 million comes back in," Clarke said. "You can go over until he comes back, but the way you come back down is the other guys go back to the minors."

Last night, Ben Eager became the 12th player from last season's Phantoms team to play for the Flyers this season. The Flyers have been buried by injuries and are currently missing Peter Forsberg, Turner Stevenson, Dennis Seidenberg and Brian Savage, in addition to Primeau.

Forsberg (right groin) skated yesterday, and is possible for Saturday's game in Nashville, but Stevenson did not skate and is out indefinitely.

The injuries have rendered the Flyers a young and inexperienced team, far from the deep and veteran roster they thought they would have going into the season.

Clarke said the team would just have to do what it can to get through this period and hope to get players back. There are no moves that would make sense, he said.

"We'll do what we have to for as long as we have to," he said. "At least till we get our players back.

"It's been hard. I mean, we've only had two periods with both Forsberg and [Sami] Kapanen in the lineup. How many games - 10 to 12? - with Forsberg and Primeau, none with Primeau and Kapanen.

"[Eric] Desjardins has missed a bunch. I think we're doing a good job, we're working, we're organized, and we're doing the things that are necessary to win games without some darn good players in our lineup.

"But there's nothing I can do. There's really nothing on the trade front that you can do. You could make some trades, but they'd be fringe. I hate to use that word, 'fringe' trades, but they wouldn't be trades that would have an impact on your club. You'd be basically the same with different players."