Free agent goaltender Michael Leighton has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes worth $700,000 in the NHL or $250,000 in the AHL, the team announced on Wednesday.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) September 7, 2016
Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis spoke about the important role Leighton will play for other goaltenders in the organization on Wednesday.
“Michael is a veteran player who gives our organization reliable depth in goal,” said Francis. “He is a true professional who also will serve as a valuable mentor for the young goaltenders in our system.”
Leighton, 35, played the 2015-16 season with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs and posted a 28-8-8 in 46 games. Leighton broke Johnny Bower’s AHL shutouts record when he recorded his 46th AHL shutout on Mar. 5. Leighton also appeared in one game with the Chicago Blackhawks and allowed just one goal in 39 minutes of play.
In his 106-game NHL career, the native of Petrolia, Ontario, is 35-41-14 with four shutouts. Leighton was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks 165th overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft and has played with four teams during his 15-year professional career.
Leighton was previously with the Carolina Hurricanes from 2007 to 2009.