LEIGHTON LAID UP/LAPPY SHELVED
One day after Paul Holmgren said he wasn’t too concerned about Michael Leighton’s back injury, the Flyers’ general manager was forced to call a press conference to announce the injury will sideline the Flyers No. 1 goalie for a month.
“Michael saw another doctor (Monday) night and another this morning and he is dealing with a bulging disc in his back that will put him on the shelf for a month," Holmgren said.
Leighton, who strained his back during a workout last month, has also been dealing with arthritis in his lower back.
Holmgren added surgery was likely not an option, and the disc is not herniated. This means goaltending duties for the first month of the season will fall to Brian Boucher, Johan Backlund, or Russian camp sensation Sergei Bobrovsky, who will start in goal tonight in an exhibition game in New Jersey.
Another shocking development is that Ian Laperriere will be out of action indefinitely as he is suffering from post-concussion symptoms.
He will undergo a litany of tests this week and an update is expected next week on his condition.
“He came to me Saturday and expressed concerns with how he was feeling,” Holmgren said. “He never let on over the course of the summer about how he was feeling, but Saturday he said he wasn’t completely honest with how he felt and he was trying to work through some things.
“The prudent thing for us now is to get him checked out properly to see what we’re dealing with.”
Laperriere missed most of the playoffs after taking a slapshot to the head from then-New Jersey Devil Paul Martin as Laperriere went down to block the shot.
He returned for the Stanley Cup Finals despite having a dark spot on his brain that initially bled from the impact of the puck.
As for the goalie situation, Holmgren added that it would be monitored over the course of the final four preseason games and that two of the three goalies would start the season with the Flyers, barring any further injuries.
Holmgren added that finances would not be a concern as all three goalies are similar in salaries as far as the cap is concerned.
Boucher’s cap hit is the most at $925,000, followed by Bobrovsky at $900,000 (He actually earns $1.75 million while in the NHL, but the remainder is part of a bonus cushion) and Backlund makes $800,000.
More to come later today from New Jersey and in tomorrow’s edition of the Daily Times.