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Flyers Bring Back Leighton

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PHILADELPHIA (Sports Network) – The Philadelphia Flyers have signed goaltender Michael Leighton to a two-year contract, just one day before the NHL’s free agency period begins.

While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, CSNPhilly.com reported earlier that it is for $3.1 million over the two years.

Leighton, 29, shined in the Flyers’ run to the Stanley Cup Finals as he started the final 13 games after relieving an injured Brian Boucher in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Boston.

He went on to post an 8-3 record with a 2.46 goals against average and three shutouts, but was pulled twice in the Stanley Cup Finals, which the Flyers lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.

“We are pleased to have Michael under contract for the next two seasons,” said Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren. “Michael came to our team in December last year and played extremely well for us in the regular season and the playoffs. Michael is an athletic goalie who we feel is just coming into his own as an NHL goaltender and we look forward to Michael building on the level of play he established this past season.”

Claimed off waivers from Carolina last December, he appeared in 27 games in the regular season, many as a starter after Ray Emery was lost for the season. He went 16-5-2 with one shutout and a 2.48 GAA.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to come back to the Flyers organization for two more years,” said Leighton. “It was my intention all along. This is what I wanted. I really enjoy playing here, my teammates, the organization and the fans are so passionate. I just think it is a good fit for me.”

Over his nine seasons in the NHL, he has appeared in 103 games and is 34-40-4 with 10 ties, a 2.94 GAA and four shutouts. He has also played for Chicago and Nashville.