Call it an insurance policy. Call it competitive motivation. Whatever it’s labeled, Tuesday’s recall of goaltender Michael Leighton on re-entry waivers, if he clears, will change the Flyers’ net dynamic for the better, at least on the ice.
For all of March and now into April, the Flyers have needed a backstop, either Brian Boucher or rookie Sergei Bobrovsky, to catch ablaze. Although both goalies have seen varied success, with Bobrovsky appearing to be the playoff starter, it hasn’t happened. And 79 games into the season, it’s not going to.
The Flyers don’t have excess spending cash or glaring areas of weakness on their roster. But according to Chris Botta of FanHouse, that won’t stop general manager Paul Holmgren from making a move at, or before, the deadline.
“A league source tells FanHouse that Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren will exhaust all means necessary to put last year’s Stanley Cup finalist in the best position possible for another championship run.”
From Stanley Cup Finals to the waiver wire.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced on Monday that goaltender Michael Leighton has been placed on waivers, months after helping Philadelphia reach its first Stanley Cup Finals appearance since 1993.
Leighton, 29, who was signed to a fresh two-year, $3.1 million deal in the offseason, began the 2010-11 season on injured reserve with a severe back injury (bulging disc). That, along with the introduction of prospect Sergei Bobrovsky, left the 10-year journeyman as the odd-man out. The move will free up a much-needed $1.55 on the salary cap.
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.
The fog that clouded the Flyers’ roster situation all of training camp has suddenly lifted.
In a conference call on Monday, days prior to the Flyers’ season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 7, Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren cleared the air the best he could, starting with the issues at goaltender and ending with injury updates.
Injuries have suddenly struck the Flyers hard.
On Tuesday morning, it was announced that goaltender Michael Leighton will miss a month with a bulging disc in his back and forward Ian Laperriere will be out indefinitely with post-concussion syndrome.
The Flyers have officially signed goaltender Michael Leighton to a two-year deal worth a total of $3.1 million.
Leighton, 29, is set to make $1.5 million for the first year and $1.6 for the second, equaling a cap hit of $1.55 through the 2011-12 season.
However, the signing doesn’t automatically mean that Leighton is handed the starting spot because according to Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com, the Flyers aren’t done shopping.
“Sources said even with Leighton in the fold, the Flyers will pursue another goalie in free agency.”
Free agency begins on Thursday, July 1.
It looks like the Flyers will have to find a goalie at auction.
According to Pierre LeBrun and E.J. Hradek of ESPN, the Flyers received permission to negotiate with Dallas goaltender Marty Turco, only to feel the familiar burn of being sent away.
Per LeBrun’s twitter …
“Traded texts with Turco this morning who confirmed the Flyers’ offer but said he wanted to see what was on the market Thursday.”
Chris Pronger’s job is to protect Flyers goalie Michael Leighton from any unsightly ghoul to enter his domain. Coincidently, he’s doing the same for Leighton’s daughter Elle.
The whispers of the re-worked Flyers lineup have finally been confirmed — forward Dan Carcillo will enter the lineup for James Van Riemsdyk and defenseman Oskars Bartulis will play for Ryan Parent. Michael Leighton will start in goal.
“You battle all year with these guys and you want to be in at this time of year,”Carcillo told the media on Monday. “It was hard sitting out those three games. I’ve got a lot of pent-up energy you’ll probably see released tonight.”