Flyers Notes

With goalie Michael Leighton on a six-day conditioning stint with the Adirondack Phantoms, the Flyers soon will have to make some sort of roster decision.

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The Flyers are about $700,000 under the $59.4 million salary cap, according to assistant general manager Barry Hanrahan.

With a $1.55 million cap hit, Leighton would put them over the NHL's salary limit when he comes off the long-term injured list and joins the team. He is the only Flyer on the long-term injured list; players on that list do not count against the cap.

The Flyers have a few options. They can keep three goalies (unlikely) and put one of their injured players who aren't close to returning, - Ian Laperriere ($1.67 million) or Matt Walker ($1.7 million) - on the long-term list.

Or they can try to send Leighton or backup goalie Brian Boucher ($925,000) down to the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms. To do that, they would first have to clear waivers. Both have one-way contracts with the Flyers.

If they successfully sent a goalie down to the Phantoms, the player would have to clear reentry waivers if the Flyers tried to recall him. On reentry waivers, teams can claim the player for half his salary.

In a perfect world, the Flyers would prefer not to have a player on the long-term list. If a team has a player on that list and it makes a trade or promotes a player from the minors, the newcomer's full salary - not his prorated salary - counts against the cap.

As for the crowded goalie situation, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said he hoped Leighton's stint goes well, but he didn't want to comment on the scenarios until the goalie is ready to return.

Leighton, making a comeback from back surgery, is slated to play Saturday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Sunday against Albany. The Sunday game will be at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall at 4 p.m.

Phantoms struggling

The Phantoms are 3-18-2, the worst record in the 30-team AHL.

Defenseman Erik Gustaffson leads the Phantoms with 15 points, but he is also a team-worst minus-21.


In Wednesday's game against Boston, Nik Zherdev started the night on a line with Claude Giroux and Jeff Carter, while Blair Betts centered Darroll Powe and Jody Shelley. Recently, Zherdev had started games on Betts' line. . . . Entering the contest, Mike Richards had 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in his last 19 games. . . . Forbes ranked the Flyers as the NHL's sixth most-valuable franchise, saying they were worth $301 million. Toronto, at $505 million, was No. 1. . . . Wednesday marked the 36th anniversary of the Flyers' 10-0 win over the old Kansas City Scouts at the Spectrum.

- Sam Carchidi