Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Flyers Claim Leighton

The 24th ranked Phialdelphia Flyers were the lowest team in the standings to make a claim on Michael Leighton, now-former back-up goalie in Carolina. The Flyers are obviously a struggling team, but they do only sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, two points out of a playoff spot with three games in hand. With Ray Emery out of the line-up for the long-term and Brian Boucher trying to fill in as best he can, the Flyers needed somewhat of a shake-up and a way that they didn't have to use Johan Backlund, just in case they were to scare him away from playing in the pros.

Leighton has only appeared in seven games for the Hurricanes this year, since the team signed Manny Legace to a deal, as soon as Cam Ward went down with his injury. In those seven appearances, Leighton has a record of 1-4-0, with a 4.29 GAA and a save percentage of .848. Those are certainly not spectacular numbers, but he came in relief in horrible circumstances and started behind a very poor playing team for the most part.

Salary CapThe Flyers were one of those teams snuggling up real nice to the salary cap ceiling this year and if they were to have dressed their regular 23-man roster all season, it would have been nice and tight to that $56.8 million ceiling. Long-term injuries to Simon Gagne and Ray Emery should have eased those concerns a little, especially when they filled some gaps with some entry-level deals, so throwing Leighton's small $600,000 cap hit should be too much of an issue.

ImplicationsLeighton is a working member of the Sheet pool this year, listed in Carolina's back-up slot in Box 32, but he wasn't at all an interesting player to pick. Leighton doesn't have any selections to his name, but it will be interesting to see if Leighton can turn it around and make himself a little more appealing with some starting numbers for the next month. Will that be enough to earn him a selection or two? Could he work both Emery and Boucher out of the starting slot for the year? It does seem somewhat unlikely, but we'll all have to see.

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