Philadelphia Flyers playoff hero Michael Leighton will be out of action for a month with a bulging disc in his back.
Leighton, the career minor-league goalie who backstopped the Flyers to the Stanley Cup final last season, was injured during Friday's win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was pulled after overtime against the Leafs, forcing Brian Boucher to play in the shootout.
The seriousness of the injury came to light over the last couple of days, according to Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren.
"Michael saw another doctor last night and a doctor this morning as well," Holmgren said Tuesday. "It was discovered through those visits that right now we're dealing with a bulging disk in his lower back and we're going to put him on the shelf for about a month."
Leighton went 16-5-2 in the regular season after being claimed off waivers from Carolina then won eight of 11 playoff decisions as the Flyers made it to the final.
The Flyers also announced that Ian Laperriere will be out indefinitely with post-concussion symptoms.
The veteran forward was hit in the face by a puck against New Jersey in the playoffs last season. Laperriere returned in the conference final after missing several game.
"He'll be out indefinitely because of some post-concussion symptoms that he's dealing with, probably from last year," Holmgren said. "He's getting an MRI today and Friday he'll be going to see the doctor he saw in Pittsburgh last year when he had the injury in the playoffs."
The New York Islanders will be without another key player for up to three months,
Just 48 hours after losing star defenceman Mark Streit for the bulk of the season after having shoulder surgery, the Isles learned forward Kyle Okposo will also need to go under the knife to repair an injured shoulder. The injury is a torn labrum and Okposo will miss two to three months, according to Newsday.
Okposo had 19 goals and 52 points in 80 games last season.
To replace Streit, the Islanders signed former New Jersey Devils blueliner Mike Mottau to a two-year contract Tuesday. Mottau had a career-high 18 points in 79 games with the Devils last year.
"Mike is a solid puck-moving defenseman who will bring more experience to our blueline," Isles GM Garth Snow said in a statement.
GAME AXED BY STORM
Sometimes a tropical storm trumps a hurricane.
Tropical storm warnings in the south Florida area have forced Wednesday's Carolina Hurricanes-Florida Panthers pre-season game to be cancelled.
It will not be rescheduled.
"We felt that it was in the best interest and safety of our fans, our players and the Carolina Hurricanes to cancel Wednesday's game due to the threat of the impending tropical storm," said Panthers general manager Dale Tallon.
The Panthers will wrap up their pre-season schedule with games against Tampa Bay Friday and Saturday. The Hurricanes host Atlanta in their final pre-season game before facing SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL in an exhibition game Monday.