A Back and a Brain
Paul Holmgren called an news conference today, and everyone that bleeds orange and black knew it probably wasn't a good thing. Michael Leighton had a back strain against Toronto last week, and was put on the shelf until Thursday. That's right, about a week. That gives ample time for bad news.
Holmgren said today that Leighton got a second and third opinion on his back in the meantime, and it turns out he has a bulging disk. Apparently, Leighton will be sidelined for at least a month due to the nature of the injury. I say 'at least' because after the way Ray Emery's injury was concealed to the public last season, I would bet that the Leighton will miss more time than a month. Holmgren also declared that no move for a goaltender would be made outside the organization.
The surprise of the conference was without a doubt the announcement that Ian Laperriere will be sidelined indefinitely on account of problems with his post concussion health. After sustaining a concussion against New Jersey in the playoffs last season, Laperriere made a heroic comeback to join the squad for the rest of their run through the playoffs. Holmgren admitted that Laperriere was not completely truthful in relation to the symptoms he was having in reaching clearance to play. There is no timetable of any kind for his return.
It seems like there's never a dull moment for the Flyers, and today's wacky news conference only furthers that feeling. As the start of the season approaches, there are more questions than there were 24 hours ago. Here's the gist of the situation:
Boucher will be the starting goalie, with either Sergei Bobrovsky or Johan Backlund as the backup. With Bobrovsky's ability being on display during the preseasn while Backlund has been injured, it will be an interesting dilemma for the Flyers.
Dan Carcillo's job may be safe as Laperriere is out for an extended period of time, although the return of Blair Betts will dictate what the Flyers do on the fourth line. Andreas Nodl has played extremely well this preseason, and this may give him an opportunity to make the team.
In my mind, Bill Guerin will most likely be on the opening day roster at this point. Although I never doubted that he would be, given his chemistry with the team and veteran experience, the loss of Laperriere only helps his chances in the numbers game, although Holmgren said the two would not be related. One thing to remember is that Guerin is still on a tryout contract, so some type of deal would need to get done in order for him to don the orange and black this season.
There are about a million other what if scenarios and other observations that could be made after hearing the news from Holmgren today. However, only time will tell how things will play out. If there's a specific question you have about today's happenings, post a comment or follow me at www.twitter.com/mtrible and I'll do my best to explain this mess.