During his 17-year pro career, goaltender Michael Leighton was a familiar face in the visitor’s net at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Throughout his career the 36-year old Leighton faced the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as a member of five other teams.
Now, Leighton will have a chance to become familiar with the home club’s crease at the arena.
On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Leighton and a 2019 fourth-round draft pick from the Arizona Coyotes. In exchange, the Penguins traded forward Josh Archibald and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton netminder Sean Maguire, who has been serving as Casey DeSmith’s backup.
Leighton will report to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and take Maguire’s place in the tandem with DeSmith.
Leighton has split this season between the Arizona Coyotes and Tampa Bay Lightning organizations, spending time at the AHL level with the Syracuse Crunch and Chicago Wolves. He has played in a combined 14 AHL games this year, going 4-4-4 with one shutout.
A native of Petrolia, Ontario, Leighton is a five-time AHL All-Star who broke into professional hockey with the Norfolk Admirals back in 2001-02. Since then, he has won 20 games at the AHL level six times. During the 2007-08 campaign, Leighton was named the AHL’s Goaltender of the Year while playing for the Albany River Rats.
Leighton has played in 110 career NHL games with Chicago, Nashville, Philadelphia and Carolina.
Leighton backstopped the Philadelphia Flyers to a 2011 Stanley Cup Finals appearance, going 8-3 with three shutouts in the postseason. He was originally drafted by Chicago in the sixth round (165th overall) of the 1999 NHL Draft.
Maguire was drafted by Pittsburgh in the fourth-round of the 2012 draft. He joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earlier this month from Wheeling and posted a 2.19 goals against average and .924 save percentage in four games, along with a 1-1-0 record.
Archibald began his pro career with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2013-14. He spent the majority of the last three season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before signing a deal with Pittsburgh in the offseason. Archibald returned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earlier this month for a conditioning stint, posting a goal and three points in six games.
Defenseman Kevin Czuczman was also re-assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Tuesday after Pittsburgh acquired Jamie Oleksiak from the Dallas Stars in another trade. Czuczman has a goal and 14 points in 22 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.