Phantoms goalie Anthony Stolarz recently underwent surgery to repair a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee, a source said Tuesday, and it could affect the Flyers' protection plans for the June expansion draft.
Stolarz, 23, played this season with the AHL's Phantoms and the Flyers. He was injured in a late-season game with Lehigh Valley.
The Jackson, N.J., native has a long rehab process ahead of him, and the Flyers might not protect him in the expansion draft. It was doubtful that Vegas, the new NHL team, would select Stolarz in the expansion draft before the injury, but the latest development could cement things.
That means the Flyers probably will protect goalie Michal Neuvirth.
There has been conjecture that Vegas will draft Neuvirth or deal for him. The Golden Knights general manager, George McPhee, was with Washington when Neuvirth played there.
Steve Mason is a prospective unrestricted free agent and can't be protected.
In seven games with the Flyers this season, Stolarz had a 2.07 goals-against average and .928 save percentage.
Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon is also sidelined with a leg injury, so Lehigh Valley will use third-string goalie Martin Ouellette in Game 3 in Hershey on Wednesday. Hershey leads the best-of-five series, two games to none.
Hershey won the opener, 1-0, in overtime, then overcame a two-goal, third-period deficit and won Game 2, 5-4.
The Phantoms were 7-4-1 against Hershey in the regular season, when Lehigh Valley tied for the second-most points in the 30-team league.