Petrolia’s Leighton retires from professional hockey

Michael Leighton (Photo courtesy of Aaron Zimmer.)

Petrolia-born goaltender Michael Leighton is retiring after spending 18 seasons in professional hockey.

The 38-year-old played 15 years in American Hockey League.

He posted a career record of 250-186-50, good for fifth all-time in victories (250), and his 50 shutouts are the most ever by an AHL goalie.

Leighton was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team in 2001-02 and won the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the league’s outstanding goaltender in 2007-08.

In postseason play, Leighton owns the AHL records for saves in a single game (98, in a five-overtime loss on Apr. 24, 2008) and for lowest goals-against average in a single playoff year (1.18, in 2008). He posted a 1.67 GAA, a .946 save percentage and five shutouts in 28 career Calder Cup Playoff contests (13-12).

He played in 110 career National Hockey League games with Chicago, Nashville, Philadelphia and Carolina, posting a record of 37-43-14 with a 2.98 GAA, a .900 save percentage and four shutouts.

He also backstopped the Flyers to a Stanley Cup Finals berth in 2010 where he posted an 8-3 record with three shutouts in 14 postseason games.

Leighton was originally selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the sixth round, 165th overall, at the 1999 NHL Draft.