If I were a betting man, I would say that the chances of Michael
Leighton returning to the Philadelphia Flyers next season are slim.
making just $600,000 last season, and helping lead the Flyers to the
Stanley Cup finals, Leighton will be an unrestricted free agent this
summer. Judging by the comments of Leighton yesterday as well as GM Mike
Holmgren, it seems the player and the team may be approaching next
“I enjoyed my time here, I
enjoyed the guys and the organization,” he
said. “It’s kind of up to the team. I’ve still got to meet with Homer
and talk it over.”
Stating his case later, he added, “There’s not too many goalies that
make it to the Stanley Cup finals.”
Holmgren danced around the
question when asked if he considered Leighton
a No. 1 goalie.
“You can’t argue with his record and numbers when he had an opportunity
to play,” Holmgren said.
The Flyers aren’t exactly
hard up against the cap next year, with about $9 million in cap space
left with 16 players under contract. That’s not bad, but there is still
players like Braydon Coburn, Ryan Parent, Dan Carcillo and Aaron Asham
to consider as well as they enter free agency.
With Brian Boucher
still under contract for next season, you wonder if the Flyers will be
looking elsewhere at goaltender next season; especially if Leighton’s
asking price skyrockets.