A day after firing their head coach, the Flyers added a depth piece to their defensive group by claiming Kevin Connauton off of waivers.
With the process of claiming a player off of waivers, Connauton must be added to the Flyers’ roster. If the club wanted to send him to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, it would have to clear him through waivers.
The lefty-shot blueliner will be available Wednesday when the Flyers visit the New Jersey Devils.
Connauton, 31, is arriving from the Florida Panthers. He played 13 games for Florida this season and seven last year. In those 20 games, the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder had an assist, a plus-8 rating, and played 12:47 minutes per game. Connauton set career highs in games (73), goals (11), and hits (116) during 2017-18 with the Arizona Coyotes. He finished with 21 points that season, matching his career high. The 2009 third-round pick has some good skating ability and plays with toughness in the defensive zone.
With Ryan Ellis (lower body) and Samuel Morin (knee) out, the Flyers had only six healthy defensemen on their roster before they added Connauton. It’s uncertain if Connauton will jump into the lineup Wednesday. The Flyers have a morning skate at the Prudential Center Wednesday, where he’ll probably to join the team.
Starting with the matchup against the Devils, the Flyers play three road games in four days, so there’s a good chance Connauton could get his first look during that stretch.
Any new face could be good for the Flyers, who lost their ninth straight game Monday and fired head coach Alain Vigneault in the morning.
Connauton makes $825,000 and is on an expiring contract.