Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sestito, Leighton waived; ADK bound? 2/28

Michael Leighton and Tom Sestito have been placed on waivers and could be sent to the Adirondack Phantoms if no other team files a claim, according to widespread published reports in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Flyers waived the two Thursday. A team can file a claim for each until noon Friday. If no team files a claim, one or both could be sent to the Phantoms.

Sestito, 25, a rugged forward, is already with Adirondack on a two-week conditioning stint, but must clear waivers if the Flyers want to keep him in the minor leagues beyond the allotted 14-day window.

Leighton, 31, appears to have lost his back-up goalie job to journeyman Brian Boucher, who was called up to the Flyers earlier this month when Leighton suffered an upper-body injury in practice. 

Phantoms coach Terry Murray, informed of Philadelphia's roster activity by a reporter, said he was more surprised to hear that Sestito was placed on waivers. Sestito had played seven games for the Flyers this season and scored two goals. The 25-year-old winger could be an attractive pick-up for another NHL team, given the physical way that the hulking 6-foot-5, 230-pound plays the game.

CSN Philadelphia, citing an anonymous source in Edmonton, reported the Oilers were interested in claiming Sestito, who could provide some added toughness and protection for the organization's young stars like gifted forwards Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov.

Murray said a veteran goaltender like Leighton would be more likely to clear waivers, especially now.
"Right now, when you take a look around, everybody is in pretty good shape -- unless there's an injury (that) pops up," he said after the Phantoms practiced. "You look at Ottawa, they lose (goalie Craig) Anderson, they lose a lot of players to injuries and they have the players in their organization. They called up (Ben) Bishop and (Robin) Lehner. I think a lot of teams are in that similar situation."

Leighton has played just one of Philadelphia's 22 games this season, as Ilya Bryzgalov has been a workhorse. If he cleared waivers, was assigned to the AHL and reported -- three substantial ifs -- the former AHL all-star could be a huge addition to the Phantoms' line-up as they make a playoff push.

"Oh hell yeah, absolutely," Murray said. "He's a good goalie at this level -- a very good goalie. That's why he earned the right to get an NHL one-way deal with the Flyers. That's based on, no question, on good play. He went to the Stanley Cup finals there just a couple years ago with the Flyers. He's got a proven resume to be a good goalie and an outstanding goalie at the AHL level."

Until next time,


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