Stunner In Philly, As Carter Hart Takes Leave of Absence

Amidst a very good season, both for himself and the Philadephia Flyers as a whole, the team has shockingly granted goaltender Carter Hart a leave of absence to deal with a "personal matter."

Flyers GM Daniel Briere released a short, terse statement: 

"Carter Hart has requested and been granted an indefinite leave of absence citing personal reasons. The club will have no further comment at this time."

It's a lamentable turn of events, as the Flyers were having a fine year, looking to make the playoffs for the first time in four seasons. Philly was sitting in 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division with 56 points at 25-16-6.

Hart was 12-9-3 with a 2.80 goals against and a .906 save percentage, continuing his impressive six-year career that has had only one blip back in the 2020-21 season. Overall, he owns a 2.94 GAA and .906 Sv% in 227 NHL games. 

Youngster Samuel Ersson, who's had a very nice year himself, will take over the top duties between the pipes for the Flyers, and face his first test as a No. 1 netminder in the NHL. He's sporting a 12-6-3 mark in 20 starts with an excellent 2.36 GAA and .909 Sv% and three shutouts. It's just his second season.

The Flyers are recalling goaltender Calvin Petersen from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL to assume backup duties to Ersson while Hart is away from the team. 

Hart is in the final season of a three-year contract ($3.979M AAV) and becomes a restricted free agent at season's end. 

Photo: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports