Ron Hextall and his Pittsburgh Penguins have claimed Flyers defenseman Mark Friedman off of waivers on Wednesday afternoon in what was surprising news to some Flyers fans. Friedman, who appeared in four games for the Flyers this season, has no points.
Philadelphia placed him on waivers on Tuesday and it appears that the thought was nobody was going to claim him. The team had him come out and participate in team practice on Wednesday, just hours before he was claimed by Pittsburgh. It sucks it didn’t work out that way for the Flyers, but that’s what happens when you place a player who has a very low cap hit and potential on the waivers. On Sunday night in the Lake Tahoe game, Friedman was transitioned to and played forward for the first time since he was ten years old.
Ron Hextall, who just took over as the Pittsburgh Penguins general manager, had a connection to Mark Friedman because he drafted him in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft when Hextall was serving as the Flyers general manager. Hextall has always thought highly of Friedman, so seeing that the Penguins claimed him wasn’t really as shocking as some fans took it when the news broke.
Friedman made his National Hockey League debut in the 2018-2019 season where he appeared in just one game, before playing six games the following season. In eleven NHL career games played, he only has one point coming from one assist, and a -3 plus/minus rating.
The young defenseman certainly has more than enough time to pan out and it appears the Penguins obviously see some more potential in Friedman. It will be interesting to see him play for the Flyers rival now, but it would be even more interesting to see how he performs with his new team.