Bryzgalov sick, so Phantom gets call for Flyers

Posted: February 10, 2012

MICHAEL LEIGHTON was one collective-bargaining-agreement loophole away from rejoining the Flyers on their bench last night, almost as unlikely as the way he fell into their lap in December 2009 before leading them all the way to the Stanley Cup finals that spring.

Ilya Bryzgalov, who reported to the Wells Fargo Center yesterday morning with flulike symptoms, was sent home and Phantoms backup Jason Bacashihua was recalled on an emergency basis to backstop Sergei Bobrovsky last night against Toronto.

"You're in an emergency once you have one goaltender," general manager Paul Holmgren said.

In the meantime, Drexel Hill native Justin Musciano, who tended goal at Division III Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island, stopped pucks in yesterday morning's optional pregame skate.

Bacashihua, as his name might suggest, has a little more cachet. He was a first-round pick of the Dallas Stars in 2001. Last night marked his first game on an NHL bench since 2007, when he appeared in 19 games with St. Louis.

Both Leighton and Bacashihua would have needed re-entry waivers to make it to the Flyers' roster on a non-emergency basis. But Leighton, the Phantoms' All-Star starter who is in the final year of his 2-year, $3.1 million deal with the Flyers, was not eligible to be recalled on an emergency basis since he spent more than 80 games on an NHL roster over the last 2 years.

The Phantoms were in town yesterday for practice, stopping here on their way to Norfolk, Va., for a weekend set.

And Bacashihua might hang with the Flyers for a little bit. The Flyers could keep him on their roster for the next 29 days as an emergency replacement.

Holmgren said he couldn't rule out Bryzgalov for tomorrow's game against the New York Rangers, though he wanted to keep him quarantined from the team.

"We'll see how he is," Holmgren said of Bryzgalov. "I think I'll certainly have a better idea [this] morning. I'm sure he is [contagious]. Some kind of flu. I think it was important to get him away from everybody else this morning. We'll talk to him later and see how he is doing."

JVR update

Many thought that once forward Harry Zolnierczyk was reassigned to Adirondack on Wednesday that it might pave the way for James van Riemsdyk's return to the lineup last night against Toronto. The only problem was that van Riemsdyk's body didn't want to cooperate. Van Riemsdyk, 22, did not participate in yesterday's pregame skate, the first time he was missing from practice in 3 days. He declined a request to speak to the media.

"His status is the same. He is out indefinitely," Holmgren said. "I don't know. I've continued to say, 'Who knows?' on this. Does that mean it's a setback, who knows? His status is the same."

Van Riemsdyk has been out since Jan. 12 with a concussion that is believed to have been sustained Jan. 7 vs. Ottawa.

"I'm not going to say [I'm] frustrated," Holmgren said, "because a lot of these guys with these symptoms, that's the way they track."

Getting your props

If you have a hankering to wager on just about anything hockey-related - and have a buddy on the corner willing to take the action - Bovada recently released a few proposition bets this week.

Odds on Jaromir Jagr re-signing with the Flyers for the 2012-13 season were set at 1-to-3, and you'd collect at 2-to-1 if you bet that he plays with someone else.

Out since November with his second concussion in a year, Sidney Crosby has 3-to-2 odds to return this month. The most fun might have been to wager on whether Montreal albatross Scott Gomez, who earns $7.5 million, would score a goal this season. You'd have gotten 10-to-1 odds if you bet that Gomez wouldn't score in the final 26 games. You'd have lost, too, since he scored last night.