Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: michael leighton
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,
Michael Leighton won’t be returning to Russia for the upcoming Kontinental Hockey League season, but not for the reason you might think.
The former Windsor Spitfires goalie who calls LaSalle home was all set to join the expansion HC Sochi team for his second season of KHL action when illness felled Leighton.
Unable to attend training camp – KHL teams open camp in mid-to-late July leading to the early September start of regular-season play – Leighton and HC Sochi officials mutually agreed to void the contract he’d signed with the team.
“I was with Sochi and got sick and wasn’t sure when I was going to be able to make it there,” Leighton, 33, explained. “They have the right to look for another goalie and I agreed that I didn’t know when I’d be able to get there, so we both agreed to terminate the contract.”...
During the 2013-14 campaign, he suited up for Donbass Donetsk, the only Ukrainian-based franchise in the KHL and a city that currently finds itself in the midst of the armed conflict within that country....
“Where I was last year, it was fine all year until close to the end of the year and into the playoffs,” Leighton said. As troubles mounted in the area, the Donbass club moved to a base in Bratislava, Slovakia, playing its playoff games on the road.
“It did get kind of scary, because we weren’t playing at home,” Leighton said. “Teams didn’t want to travel to the Ukraine.
“When the season was done and I was home, I was happy that I was home.”
from Chuck Gormley of the CourierPost,
Today, Leighton spends his mornings at the Skate Zone trying to work his way back onto a team that clearly has no room for him.
Having signed 31-year-old Russian Ilya Bryzgalov to a nine-year, $51 million contract, the Flyers have found the No. 1 goaltender they have sought since Ron Hextall’s prime.
The rest of the goaltending puzzle is far more unsettled. Sergei Bobrovsky, 22, is entering the second year of a contract that pays him $1.75 million this season, which would make him the second highest-paid backup in the NHL.
The Flyers also signed 28-year-old American Hockey League veteran Jason Bacashihua to a one-year contract and anticipate him winning the job as the Adirondack Phantoms’ No. 1 goalie. And then there’s 6-foot-7 prospect Niko Hovinen, who signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Flyers last May and is slated to play in Finland this season.
From Philly.com Sports:
Brian Boucher is the Flyers’ Game 3 starting goalie in Buffalo, as Flyers coach Peter Laviolette announced after the team’s morning skate at HSBC Arena.
“I thought Brian came in and the last couple times has done a really nice job for us,” Laviolette said. “He’s on top of his game and in charge of his net. He’s bailed us out of a couple situations. He deserves to go in there and play.”
In a stunning turn of events, Sergei Bobrovsky, the starter in Games 1 and 2, has been relegated to a chair in the middle of the Flyers’ locker room. Bobrovsky was yanked 12 minutes into Saturday’s Game 2 when he allowed 3 goals on just 7 shots.
That likely means that Michael Leighton, who not only accompanied the Flyers to Buffalo but also had his own locker stall and took the bulk of the shots in Monday’s brief skate, will be Boucher’s back-up.
via Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files,
In a rare American Hockey League game at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Sunday, goaltender Michael Leighton allowed two third-period goals, including one shorthanded, as the Adirondack Phantoms fell to the Albany Devils 4-2 for their 10th straight loss.
In two rehab starts for the Phantoms following Oct. 11 back surgery, Leighton allowed seven goals on 56 shots for a 3.55 goals-against average and .875 save percentage….
Now comes a more difficult decision. The Flyers are about $700,000 under the salary cap and Leighton makes $1.55 million. Holmgren said Leighton has been returned to the Flyers but he is trying to find a way for Leighton to get playing time elsewhere.
“We’ll get him checked out (physically),” he said. “I’m not sure if he’s ready for NHL action. Ideally, we’ll try to get him some more games somewhere else.”
Asked what options the Flyers have available to them other than the Phantoms, Holmgren said, “We’ll do what we need to do and you’ll find out then.”
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
“I first felt it in the playoffs last year,” Leighton said. “I gave it time to settle down, and, obviously, it was injured and it never really went away. So when I was working out in the summer and doing activities, it was flaring up a little bit, but nothing to the point where it is now.”...
His injury could have impacted the Flyers’ decision to sign him. Leighton signed a 2-year, $3.1 million extension on June 30.
“Obviously, I’m not happy about this now,” general manager Paul Holmgren said, “but we certainly didn’t know about this in the summertime, when we were going through the contract negotiations.”
Holmgren stopped short of saying Leighton was dishonest, as happened earlier in the summer. Ian Laperriere, who was hit in the face with a puck during the playoffs against New Jersey last April, did not disclose his full postconcussion and vision symptoms to the team’s medical staff and he could miss the entire season.
“They all want to play,” Holmgren said. “We had this conversation in training camp. We started out training camp by saying any injury, however slight, please report it, so we can get ahead of the game….
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton will have back surgery Oct. 11, and it’s expected he’ll miss 6-8 weeks.
Leighton, who already was on the long-term injured list and expected to miss about a month with a bulging disc, will have a procedure called a partial discectomy.
via Nick Kypreos tweet,
Scratch one goalie off the UFA list. Sportsnet has learned Michael Leighton has come to terms on short term 2 year/ 3.1M with the Flyers.
from Sarah Baicker of CSN Philly,
Michael Leighton left the ice Wednesday night with tears in his eyes.
By now, the awkward ending to Game 6 has had a chance to settle in the minds of the Flyers and their fans alike. It will be remembered, likely, as one of the most abrupt endings to a Stanley Cup run in history, and perhaps one of the most anticlimactic, as well.
But it will weigh on the heart of no one more than the Flyers’ goalie.
It was a defensive breakdown in the Flyers’ own zone that led to Patrick Kane gaining control of the puck to Leighton’s right, at a seemingly benign angle. But the Blackhawks’ charismatic youngster found the back of the net on a shot that, to be frank, Leighton should have had little trouble containing.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
This is it for Michael Leighton.
The Philadelphia Flyers goaltender, who finds himself still auditioning for work nine years into his professional career, needs a bounce-back game. Not just to get his team back into the Stanley Cup final, but to ensure his future in the game.
Recently turned 29, he is one of the more unlikely potential Stanley Cup heroes, having bounced around the NHL and the American Hockey League for most of his career. However, after his performance in Game 1, when he allowed five goals on 20 shots, he’s also one step closer to oblivion. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration. The kid has played well enough in this, the Year of the Lousy Goalie, to at least gain the interest of one of the other 29 teams, so I doubt you’ll find him selling pencils on the streets of Philly next winter.
That doesn’t change the fact he desperately needs to rebound. He needs that one career-defining, Bernie Parent-like super solo effort that shuts the door on the Chicago Blackhawks, because you just know the Hawks are going to come guns-a-blazing in Game 2. The Blackhawks will be determined to expose him for what he is - a guy who has never been able to hold down a No. 1 goaltender’s job in this league.
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
There’s one every year, or near enough. A goaltender nobody wanted, or believed in. A goaltender that’s too new, or too old. A goaltender who was once released, waived, cut, traded or simply perforated enough times to be considered as a guy who cannot be trusted.
Until, somehow, he is. And this year, that goaltender is Michael Leighton, owner of 112 career regular-season starts in the National Hockey League; veteran of the Norfolk Admirals, the Rochester Americans, the Portland Pirates, the Albany River Rats; and, oddly, player of just one full period for the 2006-07 Nashville Predators, four days before Christmas.
Oh, and a big reason the Philadelphia Flyers are three wins from the Stanley Cup final.
“I know it’s a big deal, and obviously I’m in a different situation now,” says Leighton, who is 3-0 in four playoff appearances, all wins, with a 1.11 goals-against and a .959 save percentage. “I’m getting a chance to play, and that’s what I want.”
from Anthony J. SanFilippo of the Daily Times,
There’s been a lot of speculation about the Flyers’ future in goal beyond this season. An answer may be forthcoming sooner rather than later.
Michael Leighton’s agent, Mike Liut, has been in the Philadelphia area for several days and likely will talk to general manager Paul Holmgren about a contract extension for his client this week, a Flyers source confirmed to the Daily Times.
While there is no guarantee that anything will be signed this week, it’s a good bet ideas will be exchanged.
According to the source, the Flyers would like to have Leighton back – possibly on a two-year deal – if the salary figure is reasonable.
from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,
Flyers goalie Michael Leighton is the only starter in the NHL who still lives out of a hotel.
The 28-year-old native of Sarnia holds that title because he landed the No. 1 spot less than two months ago, despite a seven-year career.
Before being known for hotel home, he was mostly known for being placed on waivers.
To date, Leighton has been waived four times, once after playing only 20 minutes in Nashville. He’s also been traded twice and signed as a free agent once, with Anaheim. Now, after more than two months with the Flyers, Leighton may be able to stop counting.
Despite being a lock for the Flyers job, Leighton knows how fleeting the position can be at times.
Michael Leighton has made his way back to the NHL.
The Carolina Hurricanes signed the veteran goaltender to a US$1.2-million, two-year contract on Wednesday. Leighton received a one-way deal and will start next season as Cam Ward’s backup.
More at Lord Stanley’s Blog in the News & Observer