Sunday, April 4, 2010

Philadelphia Flyers Up To 6 Goalie This Season

The way things are going for Philadelphia Flyers' goaltenders this season, chances are the next time your phone rings it might be GM Paul Holmgren asking if you're available.

But the injury problems are no laughing matter for Holmgren and the Flyers, who enjoyed a rare laugher Sunday night, routing New Jersey 5-1.

In that game, Carter Hutton dressed as the backup to Brian Boucher and became the sixth goalie for the Flyers this season. The previous rookie backup, Johan Backlund, injured his groin in Saturday's loss to the Penguins and was replaced by Boucher. Another rookie, Jeremy Duchesne, dressed as a backup for a couple games after Michael Leighton was lost to an ankle sprain. And Leighton, who was 16-5-2 this season, was picked up on waivers after Ray Emery was injured. Emery was subsequently lost for the season after hip surgery.

Holmgren told the Delaware Country Times that the club has explored other options in adding a more experienced goalie, but nothing has worked out yet.

One name being reported in the Philadelphia media was former Flyer Robert Esche. He's played for SKA Saint Petersburg in Russia the past two seasons. This past year he was 29-7-5 with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.

"We went through a lot of different options," Holmgren said. "We won't be naming names, but I will tell you we explored every option.

"Some of the players we looked into and talked to just for whatever reason can't do it. It might be because they're playing (in Europe), which is the obvious one, but we have some guys we talked to that just, the team they're playing with just won't let them out (of their contract) right now. We explored a lot of different options."

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