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Betts is ready; Nodl and Backlund shipped back to Adirondack

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Forward Andreas Nodl and goaltender Johan Backlund have been shipped back to the Adirondack Phantoms, according to several reports.

The news means the Michael Leighton is now the backup goaltender for the Flyers, and that Blair Betts is ready to return to the lineup tomorrow night against the Penguins at home.

Here's what Betts told the Flyers website about his return...

"I think I just have to be a little conscious of not using that arm to reach for pucks or anything like that. It’s a tough thing to do when you’re playing the game, but we’ll just see how things go."

It seems to me that not being able to reach for a puck with one arm means that you might as well still be injured, but I'm not a doctor so what do I know. Still, if Betts is playing hesitant and conscious of what he can't do on the ice, he may not be as effective as he can be and has been for the Flyers this season. As he said, we'll see how things go.

As for Leighton, we talked in depth about him yesterday. He hasn't been impressive in quite some time, but he can be a decent fill in for a team that will need a guy with NHL experience to step up and play a few games. Here's what Leighton told the Flyers website...

"The last couple of weeks in Carolina I didn’t really get much practice time in with three goalies. For me, personally, it wasn’t a good situation. I was not taking a lot of the practice and sitting out most of practice.  I’d like to get a few practices under my belt and feel a little bit more comfortable, and the last two days I’ve gotten some good skates in so it’s just a matter of getting a few more practices in and feeling comfortable again."


We could see Leighton in action as early as this weekend against the Rangers. It's apparent that the organization clearly doesn't have the confidence in Backlund, who has never played an NHL game outside of preseason, even though the first-year North American pro has made strides in his game at the AHL level. This move backs up that theory.

With Nodl, this could be the nail in the coffin for his Flyer career. Coming out of college and even before then, Nodl was projected as a second-line forward, but in 48 NHL games stretched over the last two seasons, the once highly thought of player has not been as impressive as he was once thought to be, notching just one goal and four assists in those games. Other players, notably Jon Kalinski of late, have overshadowed him.

At the same time, there was a report from the Daily News this morning that said Nodl was seen "receiving treatment" in Boston, so he could be injured. If that's the case, it would explain Riley Cote's recent insertion into the lineup over Nodl, and it would also explain his demotion to the Phantoms. Still, though, it appears Nodl has fallen on the depth chart.

For a Phantoms perspective on this news, check out Tim McManus at the Glens Falls Post-Star.