Just as we expected, Michael Leighton's back injury is slightly more serious than the Flyers originally led us to believe.
The goaltender, who signed a two-year, $3.1 million contract with the team over the summer, will miss a month with a bulging disc in his lower back. The four-week limit would leave him out of the lineup until about October 26th.
Paul Holmgren announced the news via a conference call on Tuesday afternoon. He says that the Flyers will not make a move for another goaltender, which leads us to believe Brian Boucher will be the starter on October 7 when the season begins in Pittsburgh. If Johan Backlund is not recovered by then, Sergei Bobrovsky will start the season in the NHL.
On the same conference call, Holmgren also announced that Ian Laperriere is out indefinitely with post-concussion problems stemming from the puck he caught in the face in the first round last year against New Jersey.
Lappy wasn't honest with the Flyers during the playoffs last year, for which some will certainly ridicule him. Most, however, will likely applaud his courage to get back to the team during their playoff run, despite his own health. Hopefully these concussion issues don't impact the rest of his career. It doesn't seem like a good outlook.
Holmgren says that Laperriere's injury has no say when it comes to Bill Guerin's place on the team, but, well, we'll see about that. One other thing to think about: how long has Holmgren known about Lappy's prognosis? While some are quick to jump and say that he likely knew about it when signing Jody Shelley and Dan Carcillo over the summer, that seems doubtful.
If the Flyers knew Laperriere was hurt this preseason, you have to believe they would have kept him out of the one exhibition game he's played in thus far.