Flyers vs. Hurricanes
News

Hurricanes Sign Goaltender Michael Leighton

Wednesday, 06.11.2008 / 9:12 AM ET / News
By Terrell Williams
X
Share with your Friends


Hurricanes Sign Goaltender Michael Leighton

AHL’s goaltender of the year in 2008 will join Carolina on two-year, one-way contract

RALEIGH, NC—Ron Francis, Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Development for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed goaltender Michael Leighton to a two-year contract. The deal will pay Leighton $600,000 per season in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

“Michael had an outstanding year with Albany last season, and also handled himself well during his time on the NHL level,” said Francis. “He has earned a role on our team going forward and we feel confident in our goaltending situation with him and Cam Ward between the pipes.”

Leighton, 27, completed his seventh season of professional hockey in 2007-08, spending most of the season with the Hurricanes’ top minor-league affiliate, the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League (AHL). He appeared in three games with Carolina, registering a 1-1 record with a 2.66 goals-against average on the NHL level. Leighton (6’3’’, 186 lbs.) was 28-25-4 in 59 regular-season games for the River Rats, with a 2.10 goals-against average and seven shutouts. The Petrolia, Ont., native led the AHL in saves (1,634), save percentage (.931) and shutouts (7), and ranked second in the league in minutes played (3,451) and tied for second in goals-against average (2.10). He set Albany franchise regular-season and playoff records for shutouts, goals-against average and save percentage. At the conclusion of the AHL’s regular season, he was named the winner of the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender for the 2007-08 season, as voted by AHL coaches, players and media. He was also named a First-Team AHL All-Star.

Leighton was heroic during Albany’s seven-game Calder Cup playoff series against Philadelphia, stopping 304 of 314 shots (.968 save percentage) and posting a 1.18 goals-against average and two shutouts. He made an AHL-record 98 saves during Game 5 against the Phantoms, as the two teams played the longest game in league history, a 3-2 Philadelphia win in five overtimes. He then helped Albany rebound by stopping all 40 shots he faced in a 1-0 overtime victory in Game 6, before the River Rats finally succumbed to the Phantoms in a 2-0 Game 7 loss at Philadelphia.

A sixth-round draft choice of the Chicago Blackhawks (165th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Leighton has appeared in 50 career NHL games with Chicago, Nashville, Philadelphia and Carolina, earning an 11-24-10 record with a 3.01 goals-against average.

Leighton’s Albany Records
  • Became the first River Rats goalie to record back-to-back shutouts in consecutive team games.
     
  • Set the longest individual shutout streak in team history, 165:37, which was also a new Albany team record.  (The previous River Rats record, set by the 2004-05 team, was the combined effort of two goaltenders, while Leighton was the only goaltender in between the pipes for the new record achievement)
     
  • Became first River Rat to be named Rbk/AHL Player of the Week award since the 2004-05 season.
     
  • Helped Albany set a new single-season team record of nine shutouts in one year.
     
  • Named as the starting goaltender for the Canadian All-Star Team of the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic in Binghamton, NY.  First Albany goaltender to be named as an All-Star Game starter, and first goaltender participant since Peter Sidorkiewicz in 1997 All-Star Classic in St. John, New Brunswick.
     
  • Named to the AHL First All-Star Team, the first goaltender in River Rats history to do so, the sixth Albany player overall and the first Rats player since Ray Giroux in the 2002-03 season to be selected for the AHL First All-Star Team.
     
  • The winner of the Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL's outstanding goaltender for the 2007-08 season, as voted by AHL coaches, players and members of the media.  The first goaltender in Albany’s 15-year history to win this award…his 4th AHL award of the 2007-08 season.

Single-Season Albany Franchise Records

Shutouts (7)                       

GAA (2.10)                       

Save % (0.931)                 

 

New Albany Single-Playoff Records        

Shutouts (2)                       

*Saves in 1 game (98)       

GAA (1.18)                    

Save PCT. (0.968)           

Most career playoff shutouts (2 - tied with Mike Dunham).

 

*NEW AHL RECORD

 

2007-08 Regular Season AHL Rankings

1st – Saves (1,634)

1st – Save Pct. (0.931)

1st – Shutouts (7)

2nd – Minutes (1,634)

T-2nd – GAA (2.10)

4th – Wins (28)

 

2008 Calder Cup Playoff Rankings

1st – Save Pct. (0.968)

1st. – GAA (1.18)

T-1st – Shutouts (2)

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 70 21 28 -12 49
J. Faulk 75 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 74 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 70 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 73 11 20 -12 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 71 8 17 -13 25
J. McClement 75 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 47 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 39 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60