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Leighton talks famous goal, trying to earn time with Blackhawks

Aug 18, 2014, 5:57 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Six Getty Images

The jokes just wrote themselves when the Chicago Blackhawks signed Michael Leighton for what amounts to goaltending insurance in the 2014-15 season. The journeyman netminder told the Chicago Sun-Times that he’s OK with a few ribs from that 2010 Stanley Cup Final (especially Patrick Kane‘s surreal and memorable Cup-clinching goal).

“There’s probably going to be a couple jokes around the locker room,” Leighton said. “But I’m over it, and I’m looking forward to being part of the Chicago Blackhawks again.”

(Believe it or not, the Blackhawks made him the 165th choice in the 1999 NHL Draft.)

Leighton, 33, seems aware that he’s likely to start the season in the AHL, stating that all he can control is to out-play Antti Raanta and Corey Crawford. Either way, that two-way contract gives Chicago some valuable flexibility.

The veteran goalie also provided a few interesting details about that goal from 2010. First, take a look at it:

  • Leighton admits that he did know the puck went underneath him. The Sun-Times notes that three people might have known it went in, then: Leighton, Kane and Patrick Sharp.
  • He provided no answers to the mystery of where, exactly, that Cup-winning puck is. Understandably, Leighton said it was “the last thing on his mind” at that time.

Leighton put up nice numbers in the KH with Dunbass last season, generating a 1.74 GAA and .933 save percentage in 42 games. He didn’t see enough action to really note in his last bit of NHL action in 2012-13, but those KHL stats at least make an argument that he could be a serviceable backup if things don’t work out for Raanta.

Considering that Leighton was a sixth-rounder, it’s actually a fun story that he can remain relevant enough to bring up those old jokes and treasured memories for Blackhawks fans.

  1. trbowman - Aug 18, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Still better than Bryzgalov.

    • lowenni - Aug 18, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      But he’s actually not…so…

  2. esracerx46 - Aug 18, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    I remember Sharp saying at the time he didn’t know it went in, but saw Kane’s reaction. He said something to the effect of you don’t doubt a goal scorer.

  3. kicksave1980 - Aug 18, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    I remember when Leighton and Craig Anderson were in the Hawks system and considered their goalies of the future. Crazy how it’s turned out, but glad to have him for depth purposes. As for the cup clinching goal, every goalie who has ever played the game at any level has had one ‘go through them’ like that from an impossible angle. It’s a terrible feeling, and you know it’s in immediately. Shame for him it was on the biggest stage.

  4. andyisfat - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    Welcome back Leaky.

  5. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    What I wonder if he might see time on the Hawks. Annti did not get enough work last year, getting called up when it became obvious the Bulin Sieve was not working out. He would have benefitted from a year in the AHL playing regularly.

  6. blomfeld - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    IT’S A SHAME …

    that you Blackhawks have now digressed to this … after all, we Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings were like ‘so’ looking forward to seeing you guys again at the big WC dance next May … anyway, take care and God speed all the same … love, LA Kings Nation :)

    • bringin1234 - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      LOL we beat you once to get there you beat us once to get there. Im sure we will clash again for it.

    • bringin1234 - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:19 AM

      and when we beat you it was 4 games to one….it took OT in the 7th for you to beat us……

      And made for a fun series to watch.

    • alexbaymac - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      If only Blom’s lips were sealed….& his/her/its typing finger, too!

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