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Sarnia’s Michael Leighton signs with Carolina

Published on

Barry Wright

Goaltender Michael Leighton will play in North Carolina this season.

The question whether is, will be in Raleigh or Charlotte.

The one-time Lambton “AAA” puckstopper has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.

Reports indicate he’ll earn $700,000 if he plays with the parent club in Raleigh or $250,000 if he winds up with the ‘Canes top farm club in Charlotte.

The four-time American Hockey League all-star won 28 games and had a goals against average of 2.44 with Chicago’s top affiliate last season, and he played one game in relief for the parent club.

Leighton will go into training camp third on the Hurricanes depth chart behind Cam Ward and Eddie Lack.

The 35-year-old had previously played with Carolina from 2007-09.

“Michael is a veteran player who gives our organization reliable depth in goal,” said Ron Francis, executive vice president and general manager of the Hurricanes.

“He is a true professional who also will serve as a valuable mentor for the young goaltenders in our system.”

Leighton, who grew up in Sarnia, became the AHL’s all-time shutouts leader, surpassing Hockey Hall of Famer Johnny Bower’s six-decades-old AHL record when he earned his 46th career AHL shutout against Lake Erie in early March last season.

He also became the 13th goaltender in AHL history to earn 200 wins with a victory last November, and he was the recipient of the AHL’s President’s Award in 2015-16 for his outstanding accomplishments during the season.


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