Michael Leighton had a dominant season in the KHL in 2013-14 and was getting ready to play for the expansion team HC Sochi when he began suffering from an illness that prevented him from attending training camp.
Leighton consulted with Sochi and the two sides agreed to void his contract.
“I was with Sochi and got sick and wasn’t sure when I was going to be able to make it there,” Leighton told the Windsor Star. “They have the right to look for another goalie and I agreed that I didn’t know when I’d be able to get there, so we both agreed to terminate the contract.”
The 33-year-old goaltender didn’t elaborate on his health issues. Sochi is interested in re-signing him when he’s healthy enough to play though.
He’s a veteran of 105 NHL games and is perhaps best known for the role he played in Philadelphia’s run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010. He had a 2.46 GAA and .916 save percentage in 14 contests during that playoff run and ultimately fell to the Chicago Blackhawks when Patrick Kane beat him in overtime.
Leighton had a 1.74 GAA and .933 save percentage in 42 contests with Donbass last season, a Ukrainian-based club that has withdrew from the 2014-15 campaign in light of recent events.