PITTSBURGH - The Flyers added veteran goalie
yesterday, grabbing him from Carolina on reentry waivers to serve as
This will be Leighton's second stint with the Flyers.
He has struggled in parts of six NHL seasons, with an 18-35-12 record, a 3.10 goals-against average, and a .896 save percentage in 76 games.
However, the Flyers feel his experience makes him a better-suited backup than rookie Johan Backlund.
The Flyers will pay Leighton $300,000, which is half his salary. The Hurricanes will pay the other half.
Leighton, 28, who played for new Flyers coach Peter Laviolette in Carolina, will be at practice today and figures to replace Backlund as the backup tomorrow against Pittsburgh. Backlund, 28, played seven seasons in Sweden and is in his first season in North America.
The 6-foot-3, 186-pound Leighton is 1-4 with a 4.28 goals-against average and .848 save percentage this season.
"He's been a really strong American Hockey League goaltender, and he's been in the National Hockey League," Laviolette said. "This is a fresh start for him."
Leighton appeared in four games with the Flyers in 2006-07, going 2-2 with a 3.69 goals-against average and .882 save percentage.
General manager Paul Holmgren said the Flyers were still "extremely high" on Backlund.
Leighton is the second goalie the Flyers have signed in four days. John Grahame, another former Hurricane, is on a tryout with the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms.
Starting goalie Ray Emery will be sidelined until next month after undergoing abdominal surgery on Dec. 9.
After sitting out Monday's game in Boston because of an ankle injury, defenseman
returned to the lineup last night.
"Luckily, it wasn't something they originally thought it was," Coburn said before the game.
Doctors first feared a high ankle sprain, but it was discovered that Coburn had a cyst that ruptured in his ankle. Coburn skated yesterday morning without problems.
The Flyers had tried to recall defenseman Danny Syvret from the Phantoms in case Coburn could not play. Because of weather-related problems, Syvret was unable to get a flight from Albany.
Laviolette and Holmgren said Syvret's travel difficulties had nothing to do with the decision to play Coburn.
"Braydon was cleared, and we need him in there," Laviolette said. "He's a big horse."
Holmgren said the Flyers had announced plans to recall Syvret before they knew Coburn would be ready.
The Flyers began last night 10th in the Eastern Conference, two points behind eighth-ranked Montreal, with three games in hand on the Canadiens. . . . Injured forwards
Simon Gagne, Blair Betts
will be examined today and will learn when they can return to the lineup.
- Sam Carchidi