Oct 092010
Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton

Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton

October 9 Philadelphia Daily News:

“Last June, no more than a few days after the Flyers bowed out of the Stanley Cup finals, goaltender Michael Leighton sat in coach Peter Laviolette’s office for the usual exit interviews.

Except Leighton’s meeting with Laviolette – one of the men responsible for his renaissance in net – was much more than routine. Leighton’s conversation was very emotional.

Leighton thanked his coach for believing in him and promised he would be better if he got another chance to start this season.

That opportunity will have to wait another 2 months – if not longer, should Sergei Bobrovsky or Brian Boucher do well in his vacated spot.

Leighton will have surgery Monday to relieve a herniated disk in his lower back, the Flyers announced yesterday. He will miss at least 6 to 8 weeks. He injured his back in last year’s playoff run, when he returned in the second round after missing almost 3 months with a severe high-ankle sprain.

“I first felt it in the playoffs last year,” Leighton said. “I gave it time to settle down, and, obviously, it was injured and it never really went away. So when I was working out in the summer and doing activities, it was flaring up a little bit, but nothing to the point where it is now.”

Leighton said it did not impact him during the Cup finals. Patrick Kane beat him in overtime to clinch the Cup for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6.

His injury could have impacted the Flyers‘ decision to sign him. Leighton signed a 2-year, $3.1 million extension on June 30.

“Obviously, I’m not happy about this now,” general manager Paul Holmgren said, “but we certainly didn’t know about this in the summertime, when we were going through the contract negotiations.”

Holmgren stopped short of saying Leighton was dishonest, as happened earlier in the summer. Ian Laperriere, who was hit in the face with a puck during the playoffs against New Jersey last April, did not disclose his full postconcussion and vision symptoms to the team’s medical staff and he could miss the entire season.”

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