The Flyers’ goaltending fears turned into reality on Friday afternoon, when general manager Paul Holmgren announced that starting goalie Michael Leighton, who signed a two-year, $3.1 million contract in the offseason, will undergo lower back surgery to repair a bulging disc that turned herniated.
He is expected to miss a minimum of 6-8 weeks.
Leighton, 29, was injured midway through the preseason, but was expected to make a quick recovery and not need surgery. But as time went on and the timetable for his return kept getting pushed back, it became transparent that surgery was indeed the best option for such a fickle back issue.
The journeyman backstop was acquired off waivers during the 2009-10 season and went 16-5 and registered a 2.94 GAA during the regular season. Leighton helped the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Finals with a 2.43 GAA.