Michael Leighton has re-signed with the Flyers, according to club sources.
Leighton agreed to a one-year, $900,000 deal. That price is a bargain for an NHL backup, especially since the Flyers went into free agency with about $12 million to play with.
Clearly, the Flyers decided to stash cash elsewhere and not in a backup goalie.
Leighton spent last season with the Phantoms (14-12-3), appearing in 30 games with a 2.22 goals against average and .918 save percentage.
He did not appear in a single Flyers’ game or as a call-up. He has not played at the NHL level since 2010-11. His lifetime goals against average as a NHL player is an unimpressive 2.95 with a .902 save percentage.
With Marty Biron re-signing with the Rangers, it’s likely the Flyers shifted gears. Also, Scott Clemmensen re-signed minutes before Leighton in Florida.
Leighton represents no threat to Bryzgalov, but wasn’t the best backup choice given he’s far more comfortable in a starter’s role, unlike goalies such as Biron and Clemmensen, who are much more effective in back-up roles.
All that said, Leighton was an effective goalie, who rescued the Flyers in 2009-10 and was largely responsible for them making the Stanley Cup Final.
Alas, his mediocre play during the Final after a spectacular conference finals series against Montreal cost the franchise from winning its third Stanley Cup.
The Flyers also submitted offers to Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and Matt Carle, who they are desperate to re-sign. Neither Parise nor Suter are expected to sign here.