Better With Popcorn

Ray Emery - KO'd

Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren has informed the Philadelphia media that goaltender Ray Emery has been ‘shut down’ for the next three weeks.

Emery has been out of action since his 3-0 shutout victory in Calgary.

The UFA to-be has had injury problems are season long and will try to attempt to play following the Olympic break. After recently taking an MRI on the hip, the news comes delayed after the Dr.’s and team management couldn’t come on a decision – surgery or rest. The team has decided on the latter.

“Based on what the doctors have told us, we’re just going to shut Ray down here for three weeks and give him some time to rehabilitate the hip, and then we’ll go from there,” Holmgren said to Flyers.com, Thursday from the Flyers’ practice facility.

“The idea of taking these three weeks to strengthen that [hip] area and the muscles around that area, we’re hoping will be the right way to go.”

With the news on Emery, the starting job goes to 28 year-old Michael Leighton. Since joining the Flyers, Leighton owns a 10-3-1 record with a .925 save percentage and a stingy 2.21 goals against average.

My thoughts: The fact that the decision on Emery was delayed makes me wonder what is really going on. I’m quite sure that it was delayed because they were deciding whether to conduct the surgery, or not. They chose not to, and I think that’s the wrong decision. I would much rather have Emery go under the knife and not come back and play until the Hip is 100% healthy. How many times have we seen the ‘rest’ medication not work in Philadelphia? Too many.

With Emery shutdown for three weeks and the Flyers not playing a game for 16 or-so days after their home-and-home with the Canadiens, I would not bank on the Flyers going after a goaltender before the Olympic Trade Freeze.

Along with Holmgren, I have a lot of confidence in Leighton. He has done an adequate job and has been the best Flyers’ keeper all season long.

Right now, it’s all-aboard the Michael Leighton train.

But what if he comes of the track? I think there needs to be another goaltender there, just in case.

Just not Marty Turco.

There is absolutely no truth to the Marty Turco rumors floating around Philadelphia and NHLand. Holmgren has told the media it’s not happening and rightfully so. The money will not work, most of the Flyers have no-trade-clauses and in my opinion, Turco is a downgrade from Leighton, anyway.

With that said, there are some better options for the Flyers, if the right deal could come along.

For the ‘now’ and ‘future’ – two guys I could see the Flyers shopping for are Corey Schneider (Vancouver) and Jonathan Bernier (Los Angeles) – click name for stats.

It gives the Flyers an option for this season if Leighton fails and more importantly, it gives the Flyers the option for years to come.

Both players are recent first-round draft picks, buried on their organization’s depth chart and were brought through their respected organizations the right way – not rushed - If either one of Schneider or Berner would be acquired, the Flyers’ goaltending question would be solved for many years.

Some other options that make sense include: Carey Price (MTL), Jaroslav Halak (MTL), Pekka Rinne (NSH) and Dan Ellis (NSH).

As of right now, it will be difficult to find a suitable trading partner for the Flyers, considering most of the Flyers’ forwards have No-Trade/Movement-Clauses or are considered ‘untouchables’. Also, the Flyers are VERY close to the salary cap ceiling of $56.8-million.

But stranger things have happened – it will be an exciting couple of weeks in Philadelphia, to say the least.

NOTES: Randy Jones, Simon Gagne, Robert Esche and Antero Niittymaki (two times) have all received surgery on torn Labrum’s in the past.

Be sure to follow me on twitter @HockeyGuy_DLEED. Also, everyone make sure to be by a computer on Wednesday, March 3 where I will be conducting The Hockey Guys: Official 2010 NHL Trade Deadline Day Live Blog. In addition to the running diary, The Hockey Guys will be doing a live Blogtalk radio show from Lancaster, Pa. from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. with special guests, Lyle Richardson (Spectors), Paul Kukla, NHLSourcesSay and many more!