Michael Leighton is back with the Philadelphia Flyers for real this time. Leighton cleared re-entry waivers at noon today and could be in line to get a start for the Flyers on Saturday night against the Islanders.
Leighton was the goalie who helped lead the Flyers to the Stanley Cup final last year before bowing out to Chicago in six games. This year, Leighton suffered a back injury in training camp and saw his starting job disappear after the play of Sergei Bobrovsky. Brian Boucher’s play as a backup and Leighton’s upgraded salary along with the Flyers cap issues helped move Leighton down to the AHL when his back got healthy.
With the postseason approaching and the AHL team in Glens Falls out of the AHL playoffs, having Leighton sit on his duff while the Flyers marched into the playoffs seemed like a waste of resources. While Leighton won’t be getting into the mix and threatening Bobrovsky or Boucher for starts in the playoffs, should injuries pop up having Leighton at the ready to play is a huge bonus for Philly.
I had the opportunity to see Leighton play in Glens Falls last week and while it was against AHL competition, Leighton looked to be like a guy playing well above the level he should be at. He’s been outstanding in the AHL this season and a key reason why the Adirondack Phantoms got out of their season-long doldrums.
Again, he’s not about to usurp Bobrovsky or Boucher but it’s a nice luxury to have a guy with his record waiting in the wings should things go awry at any point in the playoffs.