Flyers sign goalie Michael Leighton to 2-year deal, keeping him from free agency

PHILADELPHIA – The Flyers have signed goalie Michael Leighton to a US$3.1-million, two-year deal, keeping the playoff hero away from NHL free agency.

Leighton stepped up during the post-season and helped the Flyers make a surprise run to the Stanley Cup final. He went 8-3 with a 2.56 goals-against average in 14 playoffs games and set a team playoff record with three shutouts as Philadelphia won its first Eastern Conference championship since 1997.

Leighton could have become a free agent on Thursday, and might have to compete for the No. 1 starting job with the Flyers next season. In 27 appearances in the regular season, Leighton was 16-5-2 with a 2.48 GAA.

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The Flyers acquired him on waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes in December. Leighton missed the final 13 games of the regular season and the first nine games of the playoffs because of an ankle injury.