Bemidji State hockey alumni update: Matt Read makes Philadelphia Flyers debut, Climie in goal for Vancouver Canucks, Murray competing for roster spot with San Jose Sharks

Philadelphia Flyers Matt Read, center, watches Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer save his shot as Leafs' Phil Kessel (81) skates in during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game in Toronto on Tuesday Sept. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

Bemidji State hockey alum Matt Read made his NHL debut with the Philadelphia Flyers in the team’s preseason opener Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Flyers defeated the Maple Leafs 4-0 and Read assisted on the first goal of the game, Zac Rinaldo’s backhander 7:25 into the second period. Read played right wing, had three shots on goal and played a total of 17:14. He played 4:32 on the penalty kill and 2:34 on the power play.

Here’s a link to a video of Rinaldo’s goal.

Philadelphia Sports Daily reporter Ryan Bright noted Read’s play as part of ‘The Good’ in Philadelphia’s preseason opener.

“Read showed explosive skating, on-the-spot offense and in a group featuring James van Riemsdyk, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier, delivered the most memorable performance of the night for the Flyers… The effort was present and his speed was noted, however, his ability to finish at the top level is still in question and something to look at moving forward in the preseason.”

Read signed a three-year contract with the Flyers after Bemidji State’s season ended at the WCHA Final Five last spring and played the end of the season out with Phildelphia’s American Hockey League affiliate in Adirondack (N.Y.) where he had 13 points in 11 games.

Read participated in the Flyers offseason summer development camp even though he was not required to attend. He is looking to make a strong impression in the current training camp and make the opening night roster.

Read skated with Danny Briere and Jaromir Jagr at last Saturday’s practice. He’s earning praise from media, Flyers personnel and players. Here’s some quotes from Monday’s feature story on Read in the Camden Courier-Post.

“I didn’t know much about him, but skating with him over the past few weeks, it looks like he’s going to be a good player in this league,” winger Scott Hartnell said.

“I’d say Matt’s got good hockey sense and a lot of skills,” Flyers Director of Hockey Operations Chris Pryor said. “He’s not a big guy, but he’s real thick with good hands and he’s got a good awareness. And he plays both sides. That makes for a good, well-rounded hockey player.”

For those into social media, Read recently joined Twitter and you can find him there at or @Read1Mat.

Matt Climie makes Vancouver Canucks debut

Vancouver Canucks goalie Matt Climie, makes a save on a shot from Calgary Flames' Turner Elson during the third period of a preseason NHL hockey game in Calgary, Alberta, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. The Flames won 5-1. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

Bemidji State alum Matt Climie played for the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night in a 5-1 split squad loss to the Calgary Flames in Calgary.

Climie made eight saves on 10 shots in relief appearance for starting goalie Manny Legace, who had 19 saves on 22 shots. Climie played a total of 29:09.

Climie, who signed with Vancouver in the offseason, won 26 of 55 games last season in the American Hockey League for Phoenix Coyotes affiliate San Antonio. He had a goals against average of 2.64 and a save percentage of .913.

Climie, a native of Leduc, Alberta, played at BSU from 2004-08. He has played in 104 career AHL games and five NHL games, four with the Dallas Stars. He appeared in one game for the Coyotes last season.

Climie is likely to play in the American Hockey League again this season with Roberto Luongo the established starter and Cory Schneider the backup in Vancouver. Climie’s helmet features the Chicago Wolves logo and his pads are trimmed with Wolves colors.

The Canucks changed its AHL affiliate this offseason to the Chicago Wolves with the relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg for the new Jets franchise. Winnipeg’s MTS Centre was home to the Manitoba Moose, the former Vancouver affiliate. The Moose were relocated to St. John’s Newfoundland by Jets owners True North Entertainment and are now the AHL affiliate for the Jets.

Andrew Murray competing for roster spot in San Jose

Bemidji State alum Andrew Murray is competing for a position on the San Jose Sharks fourth line at training camp.

The San Jose Mercury News calls the fourth line competition a ‘wide open race.’

Murray is competing for a spot with prospects Andrew Desjardins, John McCarthy, Frazer McLaren and Brandon Mashinter along with veterans Ben Guite and Brad Winchester.

“They obviously have a lot of superstars here and a lot of firepower,” said Murray, 29, who spent the past four seasons in Columbus. “I’m more of a checker, a physical player.”

Murray, a native of Selkirk, Manitoba, signed a one-year contract with the Sharks in the offseason. He was limited to 29 games last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets due to leg injuries. He scored four goals and had eight points.

Murray played at BSU from 2001-05 and ranks third on BSU’s Division I-era scoring list (115 points). He has 23 goals and 13 assists in 181 career NHL games.

Follow Eric Stromgren on Twitter at @estromgren and on Facebook.