UPDATED: 4:35 p.m.
The Flyers on Tuesday made an unexpected roster move, recalling forward Taylor Leier from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The 22-year-old will be available for Tuesday night's game against the visiting Buffalo Sabres (see game notes).
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But why the call-up?
There were no reports of injuries following Monday's 3-1 loss to the Canadiens. But the answer was revealed later Tuesday afternoon.
The team anounced it has placed Michael Raffl, who hasn't played in a week's time since leaving the 7-4 loss to the Blackhawks in Chicago with an upper-body injury, on injured reserve. That frees up a roster spot and makes room for Leier.
Raffl, who's in the first-year of a three-year contract signed last season, has a goal in three games played this season.
A player on IR has to stay there for at least 14 days. But the Flyers could make the move retroactive to as far back as last Tuesday's game in Chicago. So the ball is in Hextall's court there as to how far back he wants to put Raffl and his $2.35 million cap hit on IR.
The Flyers are still going to need to free up cap space soon with the returns of Michael Del Zotto and Scott Laughton not far off in the future.
This will not be Leier's first stint with the Flyers. Along with Shayne Gostisbehere, he was called up last November and made his debut in a Nov. 14 win in Carolina. He played six games in the NHL before he was sent back down to Lehigh Valley for the rest of season. Leier did not record a point with the Flyers last season and averaged 7:43 of ice time a night.
In three games with the Phantoms this season, the 2012 fourth-round draft pick of the Flyers has three assists. Leier scored 20 goals for the Phantoms last season, including a team-high 10 power-play goals.
Leier will wear No. 58 for the Flyers. It remains to be seen if he will crack Tuesday's lineup.