Flyers place Leighton on waivers

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 3:37 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers placed goaltender Michael Leighton on waivers on Monday.

The 29-year-old, who had back surgery in October, made his 2010-11 debut in a 7-4 win at Los Angeles on Thursday. In that one, he turned aside 32 shots in playing for the first time since June 9 when the Flyers lost to Chicago in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

The goaltending situation became a numbers game for the Flyers, as rookie Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Boucher were splitting time between the pipes this season.

"Well, it's something that we've thought about here over the last few days," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said about the move. "There's really two reasons for doing this. One, it's in the best interests of the Flyers at this time, and number two, it's in the best interests of Michael. We need to get Michael playing at a higher level, and unfortunately when you have a goaltender situation like we have, it's hard to do right now.

"It's unfortunate that it has to come to this, but I think Michael's understanding of it, and assuming he clears waivers, we'll send him to the Phantoms [of the American Hockey League on Tuesday]."

Bobrovsky is 15-6-3 with a 2.57 goal against average over 26 games -- 25 starts, while the veteran Boucher has appeared in 15 contests, 13 of them starts and has compiled an 8-4-2 record with a 2.33 GAA.

Leighton was claimed off waivers from Carolina in December of 2009 and was somewhat of a surprise by going 16-5-2 with one shutout and a 2.48 goals against average over 27 regular-season games.

He went on to guide the team to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1997 and posted an 8-3 mark with a 2.46 GAA in the playoffs.


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