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Flyers, Leighton agree to two-year contract

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Michael Leighton signed a two-year contract with the Flyers on Wednesday. (Getty Images)
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed 6-3, 186-pound goaltender Michael Leighton to a two-year contract extension, according to club general manager Paul Holmgren.

"We are pleased to have Michael under contract for the next two seasons," said Holmgren. "Michael came to our team in December last year and played extremely well for us in the regular season and the playoffs. Michael is an athletic goalie who we feel is just coming into his own as an NHL goaltender and we look forward to Michael building on the level of play he established this past season."

"I'm very excited for the opportunity to come back to the Flyers organization for two more years," said Leighton. "It was my intention all along. This is what I wanted. I really enjoy playing here, my teammates, the organization and the fans are so passionate. I just think it is a good fit for me."

Leighton, 29, compiled a 16-5-2 record to go along with a 2.48 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 27 appearances, including one shutout. He was acquired by the Flyers on waivers on Dec.15, 2009 from the Carolina Hurricanes and went unbeaten in regulation in his first 10 starts (Dec. 23, 2009 through Jan. 12, 2010), going 8-0-1 with a 2.16 GAA and .928 save percentage. He was named the NHL's 'Second Star' of the week ending Feb. 14 after going 4-0-0 with a 1.98 GAA and .925 save percentage and set a new career high for wins in a season

He missed the final 13 games of the regular season and first nine games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs due to an ankle injury. He made his NHL postseason debut after coming in relief of Brian Boucher in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Boston, and helped lead the Flyers
to the Stanley Cup Final, recording an 8-3 mark with a 2.46 GAA and .916 save percentage in 14 games. During the Eastern Conference Final vs. Montreal, he set an all-time Flyers playoff record by posting three shutouts in the series to help the Flyers capture their first Eastern Conference Championship since 1997.

Prior to joining the Flyers this season, he appeared in seven games with the Hurricanes, where he posted a 1-4-0 record with a 4.28 GAA and .848 save percentage. Overall in 2009-10, Leighton posted a 17-9-2 record with a 2.83 GAA and .905 save percentage in 34 games.

In parts of six seasons in the NHL with Chicago (2002-03 to 2003-04), Nashville (2006-07), Carolina (2007-08 to 2009-10) and Philadelphia (2006-07, 2009-10), Leighton has compiled a 34-40-10-4 regular season record with four shutouts.

A native of Petrolia, Ontario, Leighton was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the sixth round (165th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
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