Michael Leighton

‘Hawks return familiar face, sign goalie Leighton


The Chicago Blackhawks addressed their goaltending depth in an interesting way on Monday, agreeing to terms with former goalie Michael Leighton on a one-year deal.

Leighton, 33, was originally a ‘Hawks draftee and appeared in 42 games for Chicago before moving on to Nashville, Carolina and Philadelphia. It was with the Flyers, of course, when Leighton got on a bit of a roll and backstopped the team to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, going 8-3 with a .916 save percentage and 3.11 GAA before eventually losing to…

The Chicago Blackhawks.

Leighton was, famously, in net one of the most unforgettable goals in ‘Hawks franchise and Stanley Cup history, Patrick Kane’s OT winner in Game 6:

Leighton wasn’t much of a factor in Philadelphia following that goal, as injuries and ineffective play (along with the Ilya Bryzgalov contract) saw him bounce between the big club and AHL for the following few seasons. In 2013, Leighton left North America entirely and played with HC Donbass of the KHL, going 20-15-6 with a 1.74 GAA and .933 save percentage.

He subsequently signed with the KHL’s expansion club in Sochi, but was released from his contract this summer.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.