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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flyers Sign Goaltender Leighton to Two-Year Deal

The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have signed goaltender Michael Leighton to a two-year contract worth $3.1 million. The deal averages out to $1.55 million per season. He would have been an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He was claimed off waivers by the Flyers from the Carolina Hurricanes last December. The Flyers now have three goaltenders on board for the 2010-11 season, with Brian Boucher and Johan Backlund already on board. The team had been given permission to speak with impending free agent goaltenders Evgeni Nabokov and Marty Turco, but it is unlikely deals will be completed with those veterans before July 1. It is currently unknown how the Leighton signing could impact those discussions. In 34 games last season with Philadelphia and Carolina, Leighton posted a 17-9-2 record, one shutout, a 2.83 GAA, and a .905 save percentage. In 14 playoff games, he posted an 8-3 record, three shutouts, a 2.46 GAA, and a .916 save percentage. He missed 13 regular season and nine playoff games with an ankle injury last season. This is a great signing for the Flyers, as Leighton had a good bounce-back season in 2009-10 and emerged as a playoff hero for the Flyers. He has good size and is solid in the goalie crease. If Leighton plays as well next season as he did in 2009-10, the Flyers should be near the top of the Eastern Conference standings for most of the season.

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