Philadelphia Flyers Already Bit By Injury Bug: Leighton and Laperriere Out

Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst ISeptember 28, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 09:  Michael Leighton #49 of the Philadelphia Flyers takes a drink before Game Six of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Wachovia Center on June 9, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Every NHL team faces numerous injuries throughout the long grind of a season. Those injuries have already begun for the Philadelphia Flyers.

GM Paul Holmgren revealed in a conference call with reporters Tuesday that starting goaltender Michael Leighton will be out for a month with a bulging disc in his lower back. The injury, which at first, was not considered to be serious, turned out to be a significant injury after Leighton was examined last night and again Tues. morning, and the bulging disc was confirmed by the club.

“Michael saw another doctor last night and a doctor this morning as well,” said Holmgren during Tuesday’s conference call. “It was discovered through those visits that right now we’re dealing with a bulging disk in his lower back and we’re going to put him on the shelf for about a month."

The obvious question is where does the team go from here goaltending-wise. According Holmgren, the Flyers will not make a move to acquire a new goaltender. They will enter the season with Brian Boucher, Sergei Bobrovsky, & Johan Backlund (who himself is recovering from offseason hip surgery)

To add-on to the bad news coming out of the conference call today, Ian Laperriere will be out indefinitely with “post concussion symptoms", likely from his shot block in game five against New Jersey back in April. With Lappy out and Blair Betts still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, the Flyers will now open the season next week without their starting goalie and  two of their best penalty killers.

“The second is Ian Laperriere,” added Holmgren. ”He’ll be out indefinitely because of some post-concussion symptoms that he’s dealing with, probably from last year.  Over the next period of time…he’s getting an MRI today and Friday he’ll be going to see the doctor he saw in Pittsburgh last year when he had the injury in the playoffs. We won’t have any information on Ian until sometime next week.  But he’s going to be out indefinitely with post-concussion symptoms.”

Laperriere admitted to the Flyers that he wasn’t completely honest with the team doctors during the end of last season. Lappy tried his best to make the finals even though throughout the entire series he still didn’t feel right. He told club officials that he had a rough summer.