With the market for a backup goaltender dwindling, the Flyers brought back one of their own.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren mentioned Michael Leighton's name at the NHL draft, and few thought he was serious. Leighton, of course, was just coming off a 2-year, $3.1 million deal in which he played just one regular season game with the Flyers.
Now, Leighton will be Ilya Bryzgalov's backup next season. The deal, as first reported by Rogers Sportsnet’s Josh Rimer, is worth $900,000 for one year.
"I'm very happy to be back in Philly," Leighton said in a statement. "This is where I want to be and I'm excited about the team we have this year. I look forward to the opportunity to continue working with Jeff Reese."
Leighton, 31, was an AHL All-Star last season with the Phantoms. He was not even listed among the Top 6 available goaltenders by TSN on their Free Agent Frenzy show.
Since being re-acquired by the Flyers off waivers on Dec. 15, 2009, Leighton went unbeaten in regulation in his first 10 starts (Dec. 23 - Jan. 12), going 8-0-1 with a 2.16 GAA and .928 save percentage. He is 19-7-2 overall during the regular season with the Flyers.
Other backups had signed deals in recent days, including Marty Biron (Rangers) and Scott Clemmensen (Panthers), leaving only a few players on the market, like Chris Mason (Jets) and Johan Hedberg (Devils).
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers