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Canucks find an NHL goalie for Utica — for now

Michael Leighton, veteran of 111 NHL game titles, is heading to are inclined nets for the Utica Comets.


The Utica Comets have located the goalie with Countrywide Hockey League knowledge they have been exploring for considering the fact that Thatcher Demko was identified as up to the Canucks a 7 days-and-a-50 percent ago and Mike McKenna was shed on waivers.

On Tuesday, the Vancouver Canucks’ American Hockey League affiliate introduced they have signed Michael Leighton to a brief-expression deal, acknowledged as a specialist tryout offer, or PTO.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Canucks standard manager Jim Benning stated Tuesday early morning when requested if Leighton might be a prospect for an NHL deal if he performs nicely.

The Canucks at this time only have two goalies on NHL contracts.

Leighton, 37, is a veteran of 111 NHL game titles with the Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers. He very last appeared in front of an NHL cage in 2016-17, with four appearances for Carolina.

He has performed in 341 vocation AHL game titles, putting up a report of 242-177-49 together with a 2.37 objectives-from normal and a .917 help save share. His 50 vocation AHL shutouts rank 1st in league history, and his 242 wins are fifth all-time.

Leighton will share netminding responsibilities with Ivan Kulbakov, who quickly located himself as the lead man in Utica — and the 3rd-string goalie in the Canucks’ procedure — two Fridays ago when Mike McKenna was claimed off waivers by the Flyers, Leighton’s aged club.

The Canucks experienced traded for McKenna two days in advance of in trade for former NHL backup Anders Nilsson, hours in advance of taking part in McKenna’s aged group, the Ottawa Senators. McKenna backed up Canucks No. 1 goalie Jacob Markstrom from the Senators and then a day afterwards from the Montreal Canadiens.

Had McKenna cleared waivers, the Canucks were heading to mail him to Utica, as the Comets wanted an knowledgeable goalie after Richard Bachman sustained a period-ending Achilles personal injury in early December.

Just after McKenna was shed to Philadelphia — he made a start very last 7 days for the personal injury-ravaged Flyers, earning him the seventh man to stand in the Philly web, placing an NHL report — the Comets picked up Alex Sakellaropoulos from the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder on a PTO. Sakellaropoulos has been released from his PTO.

The nicely-travelled Leighton performed in 20 game titles very last period for a trio of AHL squads: Chicago, Syracuse and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

This period he’s performed just three AHL game titles, heading 1-1- with a 4.46 objectives-from normal and a .859 help save share for the Ontario Reign, the prime slight-league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.

White Towel Podcast: Paul Chapman and Ed WIlles obtain out the place the Canucks genuinely stand in the Western Convention, give an update on the roster, and chat about the standing and stature of Roberto Luongo.

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