Michael Leighton Clears Waivers
Tyler J. Altemose
The Philadelphia Flyers placed goaltender Michael Leighton on waivers yesterday after just one start for the Orange and Black. Leighton cleared waivers today at 12:00EST. He is now a member of the Adirondack Phantoms.
Rumors abounded that the New York Islanders may have wanted to pick Leighton up during the 24-hour waiver period. The Islanders traded backup goaltender Dwayne Roloson to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday in exchange for defenseman Ty Wishart. Last night, Rick DiPietro left the game early with a lower body injury, leaving the Isles with just the services of recently-promoted Nathan Lawson.
Fortunately for the Isles, DiPietro isn't expected to be out long (if at all), so rather than pick up Leighton's $1.55M contract they instead opted to promote Kevin Poulin from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders' AHL affiliate.
Leighton will join goaltenders Johan Backlund and the red-hot Brian Stewart in Glens Falls. Stewart was recently named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week last week after posting a 3-0-0 record with a .949 SV% and 1.34 GAA. The odd man out in Glens Falls is Nic Riopel. According to Tim McManus, he has been sent down to the Flyers' ECHL affiliate, the Greenville Road Warriors.
So what does this mean for the Flyers? Well, according to Tim Panaccio, the Flyers should have $3,566,667 in cap space at this point.
That could not be farther from the truth.
Mr. Panaccio seems to be mixed up between the term "cap space" and "LTIR relief". The Flyers have had and still have $0 in cap space. According to Capgeek, with Leighton's contract off the books the team will be spending $577 more than their daily deposit from the NHL. However, with both Ian Laperriere and Matt Walker on LTIR, the team is allowed to exceed the daily deposit ($319,355) by $15,412.
All things considered, the Flyers are in a position to exceed their daily limit by $14,835. Again, they have $0 in cap space.
I tried to figure out where Panatch got that figure. All I can come up with is that he took Leighton's, Walkers, and Laperriere's contracts and added them up. But that accounts for an additional $850,000. Where it all comes from, I do not know.
So what can the Flyers do with Leighton now?
Well, the answer is pretty simple. If the Flyers wish to call up Leighton, he would have to clear re-entry waivers. It'd mean another 24-hour period of time (unless he would be recalled on a Saturday or Sunday, in which case it would be 48 hours) where any team could claim him. The only difference is that if a team claims Leighton off of re-entry waivers, the Flyers are responsible for paying half of the remaining contract.
At this point, it seems to me as if the Flyers only want to send Leighton to the Phantoms for the remainder of the season to get him ready for next season. Brian Boucher's contract ends after this season, and it looks like the easier option for the Flyers to let him go and give Leighton another shot with Sergei Bobrovsky in 2011-12. There doesn't seem much else to look into.
The Flyers, now down to two goalies, take on the New Jersey Devils Thursday at 7:00pm at the Prudential Center.
It seems as if I have missed some news. According to Tim McManus, defenseman Erik Gustafsson has been sent back down to the Phantoms. This means that the Flyers are actually below their daily limit by $4,262 with Leighton and Gustafsson off the books.
Very technically speaking, the Flyers have $792,732 in cap space. That is to say they could acquire a player whose contract is up to that amount and not suffer any penalty, even though their LTIR relief is still available.
If you include the available LTIR relief, the Flyers could acquire a contract of up to $3,659,364. But again, that is contingent upon both Lappy and Walker staying on LTIR for the remainder of the season.
Confusing, I know.