Blackhawks ink goaltender Michael Leighton to new contract
The Chicago Blackhawks maintained some depth at the goaltending position when they agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension with Michael Leighton on Tuesday.
With the trade of Antti Raanta to the New York Rangers on Saturday, the Hawks were in need of a goaltender to serve as the No. 3 net-minder. Leighton will likely be the starter in Rockford of the AHL until needed by the Blackhawks, who have Scott Darling firmly entrenched as their No. 2 goalie.
The 34-year-old Leighton went 22-13-4 record with a 2.26 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and five shutouts with the IceHogs last season. The veteran also went 4-3 with a 2.59 goals-against and .919 save percentage in eight playoff appearances with Rockford.
Leighton was originally drafted by the Blackhawks in the sixth round (165th overall) of the 1999 NHL entry draft and appeared in 43 games over two seasons with the team during his NHL debut. He holds a place in Hawks lore as he was the Philadelphia Flyers’ goalie when Patrick Kane scored the winner in overtime of Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final to give the Hawks their first championship in 49 years.
The Blackhawks are still working to extend the contracts of restricted free agents Brandon Saad and Marcus Kruger. The signing of those players would give the Blackhawks an idea of how much they can spend when NHL free agency opens Wednesday morning.
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