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By Tim Panaccio

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Assuming he clears re-entry waivers, defenseman Matt Walker will rejoin the Flyers in time for Friday’s morning skate in Anaheim.

Walker was en route to California on Thursday. Given his $1.7 million salary cap hit, Walker should clear waivers.

Right now the Flyers are playing two rookies on defense – Marc-Andre Bourdon and Kevin Marshall - in place of Chris Pronger and Andreas Lilja, both of whom are on long-term injury.

The Flyers will know by 9 a.m. Pacific whether Walker clears.

If claimed, Walker’s pro-rated salary would be split 50/50 this year and his full salary next year in a cap hit to both teams.

Walker, who was with the Phantoms, is expected to replace Marshall in the lineup Friday against the Ducks.

“Right now we have two young kids in our lineup,” general manager Paul Holmgren said. “So, he certainly brings experience, size and toughness. With Chris [Pronger] out and Andreas Lilja out, we lost a lot of experience.

“[Walker] played well down there which was something important to us – just to get him playing.”

Bourdon is paired with Matt Carle and Marshall has been with Andrej Meszaros.

Holmgren said so many NHL clubs are looking for a defenseman that making a trade is difficult. Hence, he went the Phantoms’ route.

“There’s a lot of injuries right now in the league and a lot of them are to defensemen,” Holmgren said.
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