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Flyers defenseman Matt Walker clears waivers, opening up cap space for Philly

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers

at the Wells Fargo Center on January 18, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Bruce Bennett

Last night, we discussed the fact that the Philadelphia Flyers placed large defenseman Matt Walker (and his $1.7 million salary cap hit) on waivers in hopes of opening up room for another forward. CSN Philly’s Sarah Baicker reports that the team got their wish as the hulking blueliner cleared waivers Friday morning.

Baicker reports that this will open up about $3.6 million in cap space for the Flyers.

As we noted on Thursday, rumors abound that Philly wants to add rugged Carolina Hurricanes forward Erik Cole if the team becomes sellers during the trade deadline. Baicker points out another interesting possibility, though: perhaps the team might want to lock up pending unrestricted free agent Ville Leino?

Actually, they could achieve both goals. Cole’s $2.9 million cap hit expires after this season, so the Flyers could rent him (or someone like him) for a playoff run and then simply move that money over to Leino. Whatever happens, the team now has some desirable flexibility to make an extra move or two to put them over the top.

If the Flyers need to bring back Walker, he would need to clear re-entry waivers. So this might be the last time Philly will see of him at the NHL level this season. Then again, considering his rampant injury problems this year, they didn’t exactly see much of him to begin with.