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02-12-2012, 10:35 AM
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A Fistful of Dollars
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When Tomas Hyka makes it to the NHL, he'll have a funny story to tell about his road getting there.

Hyka was announced as one of 15 training camp cuts by the Flyers Monday. He was slated to be returned to Gatineau of the QMJHL, his junior team and preseumably, since he had joined the Flyers in camp as an undrafted free agent on an amateur tryout contract, would end up going unsigned before the October 1 deadline and then be eligible for the 2012 draft.

Hyka packed up his gear and was in a car on the way to the airport to fly back to Gatineau to start working out with the Olympiques when his phone rang. It was Flyers G.M. Paul Holmgren.

Holmgren told Hyka there was a mistake and that he wasn't waived. He should report back to the Flyers.

Meanwhile, nobody bothered to explain this to Gatineau, and the Olympiques coach Ben Groulx was confused that Hyka hadn't returned for practice Wednesday morning as expected.

Instead, Hyka was in the Flyers lineup at Wells Fargo Center against the Toronto Maple Leafs, playing wing alongside Claude Giroux, who starred at Gatineau before making the leap to the NHL.

"We thought about drafting Hyka in the third or fourth round," one Flyers executive told me prior to the game. "But the draft goes in a lot of different directions all the time, and sometimes you forget about guys - and that's what happened with Hyka.

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