Is Michael Leighton the most unremarkable goalie to ever play for a Stanley Cup?
It’s possible, although unremarkable doesn’t equate to unmemorable – who among us will forget Leighton surrendering that overtime goal to Patrick Kane in 2010, in which no one was really sure what happened and then everyone started celebrating and then the linesman stole the puck?
Well, Leighton’s gone full circle. And by that we mean he’s signed a 1-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks, who actually drafted him in the sixth round of the 1999 NHL Draft, which really does make us wonder whether he was a sleeper agent four years ago.
Leighton, 33, has posted 35 wins (35-41-14), a 2.97 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in 105 career regular-season games over parts of eight seasons with the Blackhawks (2002-2004), Nashville (2006-07), Philadelphia (2006-07; 2009-13) and Carolina (2007-09). He has notched an 8-4 record in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games and currently holds the NH
He spent last season in the KHL with Donbass HC, playing 42 games and posting a 1.74 GAA and a .933 save percentage, which we assume are KHL records because, c’mon, KHL, right?
Leighton is expected to play for the AHL Rockford Ice Hogs this season, while providing a veteran insurance policy if Antti Raanta can’t rise to the challenge of being the Blackhawks’ backup to Corey Crawford. So he's what Jason LaBarbera was last year, Well, minus the amazing CM Punk mask.
Now that he's in the organization, we look forward to Michael Leighton Appreciation Night some time in 2015 to celebrate the 5-year anniversary of the Blackhawks' Cup. May we suggest a bobblehead of Leighton looking behind him?