VOORHEES, N.J. | Flyers enforcer Jody Shelley is free, his five-game preseason and five-game regular-season suspension completed.
“It’s just nice to have that time served and be available to play back in the league,” Shelley said Wednesday. “It’s a lonely thing when you’re here but you know you’re not playing. It’s a definite and you’re just kind of trying to stay in shape and stay sharp but today was a different day than yesterday, just knowing that it’s done. It’s good.”
“Available” might be the key word there, as there’s no guarantee Shelley will be in uniform for Thursday night’s game against the Capitals. Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette’s tone and body language talking about Shelley made it seem doubtful, and line combinations from Wednesday’s practice seemed to indicate that Andreas Nodl would play.
“When players are injured or suspended or not in the lineup, they want to be part of it,” Laviolette said. “I know that he wants to get back.”
Later on, asked about Shelley adjusting to play after sitting out so long, Laviolette said: “I’m sure that Jody, when he does get back in, would love a couple shifts to get himself going.”
Thursday’s morning skate will be a better indication of whether Shelley plays. And it might affect whether Bruce Boudreau and the Caps decide to go with Mathieu Perreault or D.J. King.