It appears that area
Phantoms fans will get to see Michael Leighton in
action at the Glens Falls Civic Center after all.
The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they
have been granted an extension by the NHL that will
allow Michael Leighton to stay with the Phantoms
for another week. Interim Head Coach John Paddock
said that Leighton is expected to play in the Friday
and Saturday games this weekend. Friday's game is
at the Syracuse Crunch.
Saturday night's home game with Leighton expected
to get the start is against the Portland Pirates
at 7:00 p.m.
Leighton played in both games on the road this past
weekend as part of his six day conditioning stint
with the Phantoms. At first it appeared that would
be it for his brief trip back to the AHL and Glens
Falls fans would not get a chance to see him on
home ice. But the Flyers have received NHL approval
on their request to extend his conditioning assignment
which will allow Leighton to get in some more work.
"Well, he (got) through the games on the weekend
good. In my opinion he still needs more work,"
said Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren.
"I think Michael needs to play," Holmgren
said. "Rather than sticking him in with the
Flyers, it's a better option for us right now. He's
a big guy and he hasn't really played a full game
since September. I think, to get him a couple more
games it's going to be better for him and better
Leighton is recovering from back surgery this past
October and is also recovering from his leg injury
from late last season.
" Well (the leg) is still kind of the issue
I had a little while ago," Leighton said. "It
has gotten better, but it's still not to the point
where I can say that it's at 100%. The back feels
good. Playing back to back, that was a pretty good
test for it. On the other hand, I still want to
kind of make sure the foot is going to be good.."
Leighton added that he felt his week with the Phantoms
was a positive experience. "I got a good four
days of practice in, which I think for me, was the
biggest thing just to get out and get a whole hour
and a half practice and get a full net to myself.
The weekend for me, it was obviously disappointing.
We had two losses. But, on the other hand, it felt
good to get back and play some games. I'm happy
with the way things went."
Leighton made his Adirondack Phantoms debut Saturday
night at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He
turned away 14 of 15 shots in a strong first period
and the score remained tied at 1-1 until late in
the 3rd. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored two goals
in the final five minutes for the 3-2 victory as
Leighton made 26 saves on the night. Sunday in Atlantic
City, New Jersey he made 23 saves on 27 shots in
a 4-2 loss to the Albany Devils.
Leighton, 29 (5/19/81), is in his ninth NHL season,
his third with the Flyers. The native of Petrolia,
Ontario signed a two-year contract extension on
June 30, 2010. He underwent back surgery on October
11, a partial discectomy, performed by Dr. Alex
Vacarro at Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia.
In the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Leighton made
his NHL postseason debut when he entered in relief
of Brian Boucher in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference
Semifinals vs. Boston. He helped lead the Flyers
to the Stanley Cup Final, recording an 8-3 mark
with a 2.46 GAA and .916 save percentage in 14 games.
During the Eastern Conference Final vs. Montreal,
he set a Flyers franchise record by posting three
shutouts in the series to help the Flyers capture
their first Eastern Conference Championship since
In the 2009-10 regular season, Leighton compiled
a 16-5-2 record to go along with a 2.48 goals-against
average and .918 save percentage in 27 regular-season
appearances, including one shutout. He was acquired
by the Flyers off waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes
on Dec.15, 2009 and went unbeaten in regulation
in his first 10 starts (Dec. 23, 2009 through Jan.
12, 2010), posting a record of 8-0-1 with a 2.16
GAA and .928 save percentage. Leighton was named
the NHL's 'Second Star' of the week ending Feb.
14 after going 4-0-0 with a 1.98 GAA and .925 save
percentage. He went on to set a new career high
for wins in a season (17).
In 103 NHL games with the Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks,
Nashville Predators, and Carolina Hurricanes over
parts of nine NHL seasons, Leighton has a career
record of 34-40-10-4, a 2.94 GAA, .902 save percentage,
and four shutouts.
Leighton last appeared in the AHL in 2007-08 with
a stellar season for the Albany River Rats in the
Carolina Hurricanes system. With the River Rats
that year he went 28-25-4, 2.10, .921.
Leighton set an incredible AHL record on April
24, 2008 with 98 saves in a single game for the
Albany River Rats in their historic five overtime
playoff game against the Philadelphia Phantoms.
He followed that up with a 40 save shutout in a
1-0 victory to keep the Rats alive in their playoff
series on April 26. His last AHL game was April
29, 2008 in a 2-0 loss to the Phantoms.
He played in five games for the Philadelphia Phantoms
in 2006-07 going 2-0-2, 1.56, .948. His last appearance
in a Phantoms jersey had been February 3, 2007 in
a shootout loss to the Norfolk Admirals.
Leighton made his pro debut in 2001 with the Norfolk
Admirals. He stayed with Norfolk through 2005 while
also appearing in 40 games for their parent club,
the Chicago Blackhawks, in 2001-02 and 2002-03.
He has also played in the AHL for Rochester in 2005-06
and Portland in 2006-07 as well as Philadelphia
Leighton has a career AHL mark in 266 career games
of 128-105-25, 2.30, .917. His NHL career stats
in 103 total games are 34-40-14, 2.94, .902 which
includes appearances with Chicago, Nashville, Carolina
Adirondack's next home is Saturday, December 11
against the Portland Pirates featuring the team's
first annual Teddy Bear Toss. Fans get to bring
their teddy bear donations for the Salvation Army
to the game and throw them on the ice after the
Phantoms score their first goal.
Don't be left out! Tickets for all Phantoms games
are on sale now. Discount rates are available for
groups of 15 or more. Save off the individual ticket
price by asking the Phantoms about their great group
The AHL is celebrating their 75th anniversary season
and is the top development league for the NHL. More
than 85 percent of today's NHL players are American
Hockey League graduates and more than 6 million
fans attend AHL games every year.
Come watch future NHL stars and up-and-coming Flyers
prospects with exciting Adirondack Phantoms hockey!
A variety of ticket packages for all the fast-paced
action are on sale now. The Phantoms selection of
discount ticket packages includes 3-packs, 6-packs,
12 and 22 Select Plans, full season plans and Flex
Packs. Choose the plan that works best for you!
Get your tickets at the Phantoms office inside the
Glens Falls Civic Center, online at ticketmaster.com,
or by calling the Phantoms at 518-480-3355.