Laperriere to retire; Leighton receives surgery

By JAY BOEHMER
Senior Hockey Insider — jboehmer@highhopesblog.com
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Laperriere likely to retire.

During the preseason, we first reported that Ian Laperriere, the 36 year old veteran of more than 15 seasons, had continued to suffer from post-concussion syndrome stemming from his injury in the first round of last year’s playoffs.

With one last shot at greatness and immortality during the Flyers’ Stanley Cup Final appearance, Laperriere lied to himself and the team’s trainers to return to play long before he should have. As many would have thought – now that he doesn’t have a Cup in the immediate future to play for – “Lappy” is likely to retire.

He recognizes that he has had a lengthy and successful career, and would have no problem hanging up the skates and calling it quits.

While the organization has not yet put him on the long term injured reserve, or LTIR, all signs point to this inevitability. The only thing keeping it from happening is the silent understanding that this move would put a certain end to Laperriere’s career – something no one wants to do quite yet.

Leighton receives surgery.

Michael Leighton suffered from occasional stiffness in his back during last year’s playoffs, something that has only grown worse over the course of the offseason and first few preseason games.

The decision was ultimately made that Leighton would receive surgery on the bulging disk in his back. The surgery will keep him off the ice and out of the roster for another 6-8 weeks, a significant extension on top of the month that was originally reported during preseason.

In the meantime Leighton has been placed on LTIR – where his contract will not count against the salary cap – while he heals.

While he’s out, Brian Boucher and Sergei Bobrovsky will in some way share the starting role. Whether one emerges as the go-to goalie and leader in net has yet to be seen. It’s possible that Leighton may have to compete with a new starting goaltender when he finally makes it back into playing condition. All we can do for now though is wait and see.

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