NHL Rumors: 5 Possible Destinations for Goaltender Michael Leighton

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2011

NHL Rumors: 5 Possible Destinations for Goaltender Michael Leighton

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    Now that the Philadelphia Flyers have put goaltender Michael Leighton on waivers, it is a matter of time before he is picked up by another team.

    Leighton is a journeymen and it looks like there is at least one more stop on his NHL trip.

    After a fantastic playoff run, Leighton was the odd man out in a battle that saw fellow goalies Brain Boucher and Sergei Bobrovsky start the season hot. 

    Now that Leighton is healthy, he could be a valuable asset to a team.


Anaheim Ducks

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    As the playoffs start to draw closer, the Ducks are in a position to make the playoffs and maybe even make a deep run.

    One improvement that the team could make is its depth and stability in net.  Jonas Hiller is a solid goaltender but I feel that Leighton will have better experience and talent than current backup Curtis McElhinney.

    With the tandem of Hiller and Leighton, the Ducks' goaltending situation wouldn’t be as big of a concern as their defense will be.

    The fact also remains that Leighton played for the Ducks and still has a rapport with the organization.

Carolina Hurricanes

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    Michael Leighton is also an alumnus of the Carolina Hurricanes organization, as well.

    Cam Ward is the workhorse in Carolina but a consistent backup is always in need and Leighton would be a welcomed addition. 

    Current backup Justin Peters has been terrible.  Leighton would come in and immediately know the system and some of the people.  His skill level is also a step up from the current backup and his playoff experience is a plus in case Cam Ward goes down.

Edmonton Oilers

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    With Nikolai Khabibulin struggling mightily in net, a new face would be a welcomed addition.

    Leighton could be the relatively cheap fix that the Oilers have been looking for in net.  Khabibulin is on his last legs and Leighton would be a good transition goaltender. 

    It still has to be seen what the future holds in net for the Oilers, but Leighton could be a long-term signing that can act as a backup when a starter is drafted or signed.

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    By law, the Leafs have to be in every rumor.

    In this case, however, it might be legitimate.

    Jean-Sebastien Giguere should be coming back from injury in the next week or so, but Leighton might be a more viable option in net or at least as the backup.

    Leighton’s contract is far less money than Giguere’s, and if Toronto can move J.S., it might be a wise move for the upcoming offseason.

    I wonder how Maple Leaf-land would take that move!

Colorado Avalanche

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    As the offseason looms, the possibility of Avalanche goalie Craig Anderson leaving for free agency becomes more and more possible.

    Leighton might be a good addition to take the backup spot from Peter Budaj.

    Another possibility would be to move Anderson if he doesn’t want to come back or the organization wants to move in a new direction.  Once he is moved, platoon Leighton and Budaj and have a solid tandem until you can draft or sign a starter.