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‘Hawks return familiar face, sign goalie Leighton

Aug 18, 2014, 12:37 PM EDT

The Chicago Blackhawks addressed their goaltending depth in an interesting way on Monday, agreeing to terms with former goalie Michael Leighton on a one-year deal.

Leighton, 33, was originally a ‘Hawks draftee and appeared in 42 games for Chicago before moving on to Nashville, Carolina and Philadelphia. It was with the Flyers, of course, when Leighton got on a bit of a roll and backstopped the team to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, going 8-3 with a .916 save percentage and 3.11 GAA before eventually losing to…

The Chicago Blackhawks.

Leighton was, famously, in net one of the most unforgettable goals in ‘Hawks franchise and Stanley Cup history, Patrick Kane‘s OT winner in Game 6:

Leighton wasn’t much of a factor in Philadelphia following that goal, as injuries and ineffective play (along with the Ilya Bryzgalov contract) saw him bounce between the big club and AHL for the following few seasons. In 2013, Leighton left North America entirely and played with HC Donbass of the KHL, going 20-15-6 with a 1.74 GAA and .933 save percentage.

He subsequently signed with the KHL’s expansion club in Sochi, but was released from his contract this summer.

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Oh man that video is pain. 99% of goalies would’ve turned that away, we get the 1% who couldn’t.

  2. mcphillthy - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    I will never ever forget that goal…. It was the most pathetic, heartbreaking goal I’ve ever seen.

  3. lowenni - Aug 18, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    He’s soooooooooo bad

  4. Hard to BeLeaf - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Not sure why people are so hard on Leighton for that goal. It was a brilliant shot by Kane. Kane was literally the only person on the ice who knew the puck was in the net.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 18, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      That was not a brilliant shot. A brilliant shot is picking the top corner, over the goalies shoulder, in the only place he can’t stop it. This was more of a fluke in which Kane threw the puck in the general direction of the net and caught Leighton napping and out of position. I’m not saying the Hawks wouldn’t have won the series anyway but that was one of the worst ways for a game 6 OT in the Cup finals to end. A stoppable shot must be stopped in that situation.

      Leighton gets a ton of flak in this City for that goal but really he was horrendous throughout the entire Finals. Great in the first 3 rounds; crumbled when it mattered most. Bottom line is he’s just not a good goalie.

      • Hard to BeLeaf - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        “A brilliant shot is picking the top corner”
        If you think that’s the ONLY good shot in hockey, you must not have been watching for very long. By that standard we can scratch half of Datsyuk’s Datsyukian dekes. No good… they weren’t top shelf.

        Tucking one under the goalies arm farside when he’s expecting nothing but a short side attempt was brilliant. It was the game. The reaction (or lack there of) by the players on the ice says it all about how good that shot was. Kane was the ONLY one who saw it go in. Everyone else was like “What’s that guy so excited about?!”.

  5. ibieiniid - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    PHT faking videos again.

    That goal never happened and the 2010 SCF remains in perpetual limbo, as far as I’m concerned.

    • Mike Halford - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      I’ve got the original Zapruder film too.

      • ibieiniid - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        The puck, coming parallel to the victim’s chest, ricochets off Leighton between the 3rd and 4th ribs. The puck then turns, IN MID AIR, MIND YOU, and strikes the netting… here (indicates with pointer).

        Now that… is one magic mullet.

      • cfos00 - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        ibieniid, that’s one of the best comments I’ve ever read on here. Just know somewhere, there was a slow clap for you.

      • ibieiniid - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:10 AM

        lol thanks man. I wrote the whole thing, then the Kane mullet pun just presented itself to me.

  6. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Don’t see why folks have an issu with that goal. Kane froze a defender, and then used his outstanding sniping skils to perfection. I think fans of the other 29 clubs would love for him to join their team.

    • ibieiniid - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Don’t see why you think people are concerned with what KANE did in that play. It’s Leighton. Personally, I don’t hold it against him. But you gotta admit, pretty much every time that shot is taken, it’s stopped.

  7. juzzi7 - Aug 18, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    I bet Kaner is going to have a blast in practice drills shooting 5-hole from the corner for jokes.

  8. govtminion - Aug 18, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    I hadn’t been aware there was a controversy to the goal, other than the puck vanishing immediately after. Is this really a thing? People are convinced some conspiracy was in place or something? Please tell me it’s a joke?

    • ibieiniid - Aug 18, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      It’s a joke.

      lol. I’m pretty clearly just a Flyers fan in denial.

      • ibieiniid - Aug 18, 2014 at 4:32 PM

        lol I just thought the fact that I claimed a sports news blog could make such an intricate fake video would drive that point home.

      • govtminion - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:11 AM

        Sorry, with the strange things people sometimes find reasons to get fired up about around here I figured I’d stumbled across a new one. Sorry about that, carry on!

  9. andyisfat - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Leaky Leighton is back.

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