Here is a transcript of a recent conversation with Flyers goalie Michael Leighton, who was at the Skate Zone last week (transcript courtesy of the Flyers):
Q: What do you think about the off season moves by the Flyers?
ML: “Obviously, you are going to have guys come and go every year and that is what is tough about hockey. You become friends and family with your teammates. Anytime you see a guy like Simon leave it is difficult. He’s a great guy and he has been in this organization a long time. He’s done a lot here and I’m sad to see him go. But on the other hand we’ve brought in some key players who are going to help our team. I’m excited.”
Q: Has this team improved with these offseason moves?
ML: “I think so. We picked up some more offensive players and a couple of defensive players. It obviously will be hard to judge on which team is better, last year or this year because we were so successive last year. It just depends if we can click together. We kept a lot of the core players here and I believe that the new guys are going to help us out.”
Q: There was media speculation that the Flyers were looking to sign a goalie. This hasn’t happened. Does this give you a boost of confidence?
ML: “It definitely makes me feel good. I didn’t know what direction they were going in. When they were looking to sign me I think they were still unsure what they were going to do. Maybe they still aren’t sure, I don’t know. But if I start the season as the No. 1, that’s what I want. That’s my goal. I want to be a No. 1 goalie. I can’t change much on whatever happens. I just have to go out and play the way I am capable of playing and perform. That’s what it comes down to.”
Q: Do you have any personal goals in the 2010-11 season?
ML: “Obviously, I want to play a lot of games. For me, you look at last year and we did so much but there is always more. And I want to do more. I want to win a Stanly Cup. That’s my goal. I want to help this team win as many games as I can. That’s the bottom line.”
Q: Can this year’s team take the next step and win the Stanly Cup?
ML: “I think so. We struggled at times during the regular season with injuries and just being able to put things together. But we got it together at the right time. If we start the season with that togetherness and team mentality and carry that on through the season we should be in a good position to start the playoffs. There is no reason why shouldn’t be able to do what we did last year.”