The Flyers rolled the dice yesterday afternoon by placing defenseman Nolan Baumgartner on reentry waivers with the intention of getting him back onto their roster.

Baumgartner, 30, has been in purgatory with the Phantoms since Oct. 18, when he, Petr Nedved and Niko Dimitrakos were waived after a 9-1 loss in Buffalo the night before.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenseman could have helped the Flyers survive the losses of Mike Rathje and Denis Gauthier to injuries earlier this season, but general manager Paul Holmgren feared that Baumgartner would get picked off by another team on the waiver wire.

"We want to take a look at Nolan now," Holmgren said yesterday. "It's a risky situation. We could lose him. But we think the time is right to try and sneak him through."

The Flyers have just six healthy defensemen.

"We want to see if we can get him back here," coach John Stevens said. "We've had only six healthy guys for a while now, and I would really like to have another body."

The waiver price for any team that wants to claim Baumgartner is $3,375.

Loose pucks. Winger R.J. Umberger still has the flu and is questionable for tonight's game against Toronto. . . . If Umberger can't play, Stefan Ruzicka will remain in the lineup. . . . Because of injuries to its forwards, Carolina used eight defensemen against the Flyers on Thursday - a season-high for an opponent. The Hurricanes rotated two defensemen at wing during the game, with Eric Staal centering the top line and the fourth line. . . . The Chicago Blackhawks would like to move young defenseman Brent Seabrook for a top center. They have asked about the Flyers' Jeff Carter and have been told he is not available.

Contact staff writer Tim Panaccio

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