Jul 1, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT
It turns out the Flyers didn’t have to look far to fill the hole behind Ilya Bryzgalov — the solution was in their organization all along. According to reports, Paul Holmgren has inked Michael Leighton, who spent the balance of last season with the Phantoms, to a one-year deal worth $900,000 shortly after free agency opened. He will serve as the backup goaltender.
You should recall Leighton played a big role during the Flyers’ Finals run in 2009-10, appearing in 27 games in the regular season, and the final 14 during the playoffs after an injury to Brian Boucher, compiling a 24-8-2 record overall. It was enough to earn him a brand new two-year contract.
Leighton quickly fell out of favor after signing when he had to undergo back surgery before the season started. He played in one game for the Flyers during 10-11, before again becoming part of the goalie carousel during the postseason, appearing in two of six against Buffalo.
The acquisition of Bryzgalov, along with the development of Sergei Bobrovsky, relegated Leighton to Adirondack for the entirety of last season. In 56 games, he was 28-26-1 with a 2.55 GAA and .918 SV%.
Leighton also enjoyed a cup of coffee with the Flyers back in 06-07, seeing action in four games. Of course, he will be remembered forever in infamy for surrendering the Cup-clinching goal to Chicago’s Patrick Kane in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.
While there will probably be some grumbling over the front office’s insistence on continuously bringing this guy back for more, Leighton looks like an adequate solution for now, and he comes at a discount price. Bryz seems to perform better when he’s playing every night, so The Leight Show should only air a dozen or so times as long as the guy in front of him stays healthy.
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