During a conference call on Thursday, Paul Holmgren updated the status of Michael Leighton and revealed surprising news regarding Ian Lapperiere.
Leighton is suffering from a bulging disc and will miss about a month, during which he will rest and rehab to avoid surgery. This coming a day after Holmgren said he was "not too concerned" about the injury. Leights saw another doctor last night and this morning for a follow-up opinion and did not get good news. Holmgren also said that the Flyers would not look outside the organization for another goalie, meaning they will start the season with two of Boucher, Bobrovsky, and Backlund (assuming Backlund is healthy).
If Backlund is not healthy, I think the Flyers NEED to go outside the organization for a temporary backup behind Boucher and have Bobrovsky start in Adirondack. If Leighton is optimistically able to return by November 1st against the Hurricanes, the Flyers will still be without his services for the first 11 games of the season, including three key divisional match-ups with the Penguins.
Even more concerning was the news that Laperriere will be out indefinitely with post-concussion syndrome. The spot on his brain suffered when he was hit in the face with a slapshot during the Devils series did not clear before he remarkably returned during last season's playoff run. He told Holmgren that he was "not completely honest" with how he felt since the injury, and such a decision could ruin his career.
While Holmgren explained that the Laperriere injury would not affect the signing of Bill Guerin- I find it hard to believe. Most expected Guerin to make the team anyway, and I think the Laperriere injury only intensifies the need for another winger. While other possibilities include Mike Testwuide and Ben Holmstrom, I think the Flyers should start the season with Guerin and move Testwuide and Holmstrom to the AHL. The Flyers are already suffering from the injury bug with the regular season still over a week away.