The Flyers will have Michael Leighton checked out by a doctor tomorrow, and if he's ready to go as he says he is, he'll return to the Flyers active roster. That means a roster move is on the horizon. What will the Flyers do?
Oh, how convenient! Another injury! Here's Paul Holmgren speaking today at practice, with awesome embedded audio below courtesy of Anthony SanFilippo.
Well we do have another injury issue with Matt Walker, so there's a possibility we could just put Matt Walker on injured reserve. We'll see. Matt got hurt on the weekend in Glens Falls. ... It might be his hip again. We'll get him checked out too. I'm not sure [what happened]. I haven't talked to John Paddock as of this morning but I know last night it was a little bit of an issue.
I don't want to blatantly say the Flyers are faking this injury because there's no evidence of that, but if you're not at least suspicious given the way it fell into their lap, you haven't been watching this team for very long. It's a convenient in every possible way.
As far as I'm aware, there's no data in terms of ice time on AHL games, so we can't pinpoint exactly when Walker stopped playing in Sunday's game. We do know that he was on the ice with seven minutes left in the third period, though, because he assisted on a Luke Pither goal at 13:06. The chances of Walker opting to stay in an AHL game on a team with three wins after feeling discomfort in his surgically repaired hip is likely pretty slim, wouldn't you say?
There's no Adirondack-based media report on the game either, besides the PR writeup on the Phantoms website and a glorified blurb in the Post Star. The paper does not send writer Tim McManus to most road games. Even still, Tim's morning report from today says nothing about Walker re-injuring anything. If it happened, don't you think it'd be worth mentioning? (To be sure, I emailed him to make sure we're not missing anything here.)
The Flyers don't exactly need Walker, either. Even once he returns from his conditioning stint or LTIR or whatever his future holds, he's at best the seventh defenseman -- likely even lower on the depth chart than that.
Put yourself in the Flyers shoes. You need an injury to clear up your roster issues. You have a guy that's not needed, overpaid and already injury-prone playing in a game with effectively no media coverage, at least as it pertains to your side of the story. It doesn't really get much more convenient than that. Consider my eyebrow raised.