Good comparison someone made to svoboda. He was a little dude. I was thinking the only Dmen who managed to survive despite their size were stars in the NHL and far above average (for the NHL) in terms of their mental acuity and their ability to stay ahead of the play. Svoboda was a borderline star at his best, so I don't know about that theory.
Pyorala isn't some euro phenom who made the transition to the NHL and hit a brick wall, that's for sure. But his adaptation is still in doubt. There's a reason he hasn't been playing.
Forward Mika Pyorala took most of his reps in yesterday's skate on defense, but neither he nor Peter Laviolette said to put much stock in that.
Laviolette said Pyorala won't be joining fellow Finland native Sami Kapanen as Flyers who have moved from forward to defense during a season.
"I guess it was just because we played power play and penalty kill," Pyorala said, shrugging. "It's been a while since last time I played defense, so I don't think it's going to happen."
At 6-foot, Pyorala is not nearly as small as Kapanen. Since he was signed as a free agent on July 14, Pyorala has been lauded for his defensive responsibility as a forward. He was forced to dress as a defenseman in place of Ryan Parent on Dec. 26 when Parent was a late scratch because of back problems.
Pyorala said he would play the position if asked by Laviolette. Pyorala played in the Flyers' first 36 games but has been a healthy scratch for the last five; he has been scratched for 15 of the last 17 games.