Flyers waive Matt Walker

Matt Walker played just 4 games with the Flyers this season. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

The Flyers have waived defenseman Matt Walker, the Daily News has learned.

Walker hit the waiver wire at noon on Thursday, as the Flyers enter the All-Star break in first place in the NHL. He is available to be claimed by all 29 other teams by Friday at noon.

The Flyers’ intention is to send him to AHL Adirondack, as Walker – who returned from hip surgery on Jan. 13 against Boston – has been sitting as a healthy scratch since Chris Pronger returned to the lineup on Jan. 20.

No team is expected to make a move for Walker, as his $1.7 million contract with injury questions extends through 2013.

Walker has played just 4 games for the Flyers this season, since being acquired in a trade for Simon Gagne with Tampa Bay last July. He did not collect any points from the blue line but seemed to be rounding into form just as Pronger became available.

If Walker’s salary clears waivers, it could pave the way for the Flyers to either make a move at the Feb. 28 trade deadline and acquire a little extra salary on a rental player for the player, or to sign Ville Leino to a well-deserved contract extension.

Leino has been unable to sign an extension with the Flyers this season as they have been hamstrung by the tagging rule, which prevents them from committing more to next year’s salary cap than this year’s upper limit of $59.4 million.

Stay tuned.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers

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