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Flyers Claim Leighton on Waivers

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes
Official Release

With starter Ray Emery sidelined for the next several weeks, the Philadelphia Flyers shored up their goaltending by claiming Michael Leighton on re-entry waivers from the Canes today.

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Carolina is now responsible for half of the remainder of Leighton’s $600,000 salary this season, with the Flyers picking up the other portion. Although Leighton did not play his best game of the season on October 31 in Philadelphia, he appeared in four games for the Flyers in 2006-07 and is familiar with former Hurricanes coaches Peter Laviolette and Kevin McCarthy.

After grabbing hold of the backup job behind Cam Ward earlier this month, Manny Legace now finds himself firmly entrenched in that role. Albany’s Justin Peters becomes the third man on the depth chart.

In other Canes waiver news, defenseman Aaron Ward cleared waivers and remains with the team. He practiced with the team on Tuesday and is expected to play against Dallas at the RBC Center Wednesday night.

The loss of Leighton won’t be the only transaction of the day for Carolina. Although Sergei Samsonov practiced today and looks as though he will play against the Stars, the team still finds itself one forward short. They may also need a defenseman, as Tim Gleason and Niclas Wallin did not practice for the second consecutive day. If neither can play, defensive help in addition to the already-recalled Brett Carson and Jay Harrison would be needed

Gleason was hit in the face by an Alex Ovechkin shot last Friday at Washington, but returned to score the game-tying goal while shorthanded and also suited up for the following night’s game in Ottawa. He’s officially listed as day-to-day, but his status is more doubtful than was initially thought after an assumed maintenance day on Monday.

“He took a pretty good shot there and we want to make sure he’s all clear before he goes,” said coach Paul Maurice. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

“We’ve got to make a good call based on the information in part that he supplies to us,” continued Maurice. “Unless it’s a severed aorta … then he’ll just want to play five-on-five.”

As to which forward will be recalled, if indeed Samsonov can play and the team only needs one, Maurice said that decision had not yet been finalized but that Patrick Dwyer is a good bet. He also said that Czech forward Jiri Tlusty, who scored a goal on his first shift as a Hurricane on Friday, is thought to be unavailable due to continued immigration issues following his acquisition from Toronto on December 3.

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