Just when you thought Philadelphia’s goaltending situation couldn’t get any more bizarre, it just got more bizarre.
According to various reports, the Flyers have re-signed Michael Leighton — their starting goalie from the 2010 Stanley Cup finals — to a one-year deal worth $900,000.
Since the ’10 finals Leighton has played exactly one game at the NHL level, spending almost all of his time with Philly’s AHL affiliate in Adirondack. He went 28-26-1 with the Phantoms last year, posting a .918 save percentage and 2.58 GAA.
As for trying to explain the signing…
After trading Sergei Bobrovsky to Columbus prior to the draft, he Flyers were in the market for a backup to Ilya Bryzgalov, preferably an older netminder with some experience. The market looked to have a few available, but with veteran presences like Martin Biron and Scott Clemmensen being retained by their respective clubs, the Flyers might’ve looked at dwindling options and decided it was best to keep things in house.
While we’re still seeking confirmation on whether it’s a one- or two-way deal, CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio suggests Leighton “likely ends up” as Bryzgalov’s backup for 2012-13.
There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.
The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.
That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.
In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.
Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.