Walker is placed on waiver wire

The Flyers placed defenseman Matt Walker on waivers Thursday, a move that will free salary-cap space and could enable them to make a deal before the Feb. 28 trade deadline.

When Walker’s $1.7 million salary-cap hit comes off the books – he can clear waivers at noon Friday and be sent to the Adirondack Phantoms – the Flyers will have $3.6 million of acquisition space available for a deal.

That would be enough to acquire Carolina’s Erik Cole, a 32-year-old winger who has a $2.9 million cap hit. Cole has 13 goals and 15 assists this season.

The Flyers are enamored with Cole, who played for coach Peter Laviolette when the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Cole, who was born in Oswego, N.Y., can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Carolina is one point behind Atlanta – the Hurricanes have two games in hand – for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. If Carolina is in the playoff hunt around the trade deadline, it will probably keep Cole. If it falls far behind, it might part ways with the winger.

Asked if the Flyers placed Walker on waivers because they wanted to open acquisition space or because they think the defenseman needs work, general manager Paul Holmgren said: “Matt needs to play.”

Read more: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/20110128_Flyers_Notes___Walker_is_placed_on_waiver_wire.html#ixzz1CMxDDwCt

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