Saturday, December 12, 2009

Leighton returns

The Carolina Hurricanes today reassigned former Rats' netminder Michael Leighton to his old stomping grounds here in Albany.  

Leighton rejoins the River Rats after spending one and one-third seasons as a back-up for Cam Ward in Carolina. 

In 2007-08, Leighton led an underperforming Albany squad to the playoffs, earned first-team all-star honors, and was named AHL goalie of the year. He led the league with a 2.10 goals-against average and was tied for second with a save percentage of .931. 

Leighton played 19 games with the Hurricanes last season, registering a 2.92 GAA and .901 SV%. 

This season Leighton was given only one start before Cam Ward was injured with a severe laceration. Manny Legace was signed immediately after the injury and was picked to start the Canes' next two games. 

Leighton was handed the two starts after, but pulled his groin midway through the second game. Upon his recovery, Leighton started two more contests and was then placed on waivers.

Leighton appeared in a total of seven contests with the Canes this season, recording a 4.29 GAA and .850 SV%. 

The River Rats, now with three goaltenders, may reassign Mike Murphy to the Florida Everblades of the ECHL, where the rookie netminder would likely be given starting duties.

UPDATE: Leighton will be placed on re-entry waivers today (12/13).