The Flyers have officially signed goaltender Michael Leighton to a two-year deal worth a total of $3.1 million.
Leighton, 29, is set to make $1.5 million for the first year and $1.6 for the second, equaling a cap hit of $1.55 through the 2011-12 season.
However, the signing doesn’t automatically mean that Leighton is handed the starting spot because according to Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com, the Flyers aren’t done shopping.
“Sources said even with Leighton in the fold, the Flyers will pursue another goalie in free agency.”
Free agency begins on Thursday, July 1.
What happens when a team graduates it’s two top prospects then trades their first-round draft picks three years in a row? You likely get a prospect camp roster similar to the one the Flyers will have the week of July 5, at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J.
The typically exciting prospect camp has been accompanied by limited fanfare the past two seasons due to the lack of high-end prospects. James van Riemsdyk highlighted the 2009 camp with Claude Giroux headlining 2008. But with both players now securely with the Flyers, and no 2009 or 2010 first-round picks to help carry the slack, the 2010 prospect camp is loaded with tryouts (12), college, junior and KHL signings (9) and low draft selections (15).
But that doesn’t mean it’s a total wash.
It won’t be until tomorrow, when general manager Paul Holmgren will be available to the media, that the specific offers made by the Flyers to their restricted free agents will come to light. But according to an e-mail Holmgren sent out on Monday, no one was left out.
“Qualifying offers to all of our RFA’s were sent out some time ago,” Holmgren told CSNPhilly.com.
It looks like the Flyers will have to find a goalie at auction.
According to Pierre LeBrun and E.J. Hradek of ESPN, the Flyers received permission to negotiate with Dallas goaltender Marty Turco, only to feel the familiar burn of being sent away.
Per LeBrun’s twitter …
“Traded texts with Turco this morning who confirmed the Flyers’ offer but said he wanted to see what was on the market Thursday.”
The Flyers may have just found their next goaltender.
According to CSNPhilly.com, the Flyers have a verbal agreement in place with the San Jose Sharks to acquire the rights to goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.
With the 179th selection (sixth round) in the 2010 NHL entry draft, the Flyers select defenseman Nick Luukko out of The Gunnery.
Luukko, son of Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko, is a native of West Chester, Pa. and spent his freshman year of high school playing in the Inter-County Scholastic Hockey League for AAA team, Malvern Prep.
Despite the belief that Nick was drafted strictly due to his father holding water with the organization, it’s not exactly true. At 6-foot-2, 180 lbs., he has the size and skill to become a professional but needs to fill out to become effective at the higher levels. Add on the fact that the Flyers organization has had their eye on Nick growing up, as well as when he would work out with the Flyers during the offseason, and the choice was more familiar than anything.
“Nick possesses poise well beyond his years,” said Gunnery coach Craig Badger. “He never panics and most always makes the right decision. This approach will allow him to find success at every level.”
Armed with a coveted right-handed shot, Luukko led the Gunnery blue line in points with 15.
With 149th selection (fifth round) in the 2010 NHL entry draft, the Flyers select winger Michael Parks out of Cedar Rapids of the USHL.
Listed at 5-foot-11, 188 lbs., the St. Louis native is a scrappy and physical player with limited offensive upside. Projected to be more of a checking forward as he plays bigger than his size, Parks is a solid skater and has a good engine. A potential penalty kill specialist, three of Parks’ 11 goals this season came shorthanded with the Rapids.
He finished the 2010 season with 22 points in 51 games to accompany his 57 penalty minutes and has committed to the University of North Dakota.
With the 119th (fourth round) selection in the 2010 NHL entry draft, the Flyers have selected forward Tye McGinn out of Gatineau in the QMJHL.
With the 89th selection (third round) in the 2010 NHL entry draft, the Flyers have selected center Michael Chaput from Lewiston of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“I’m very excited,” Chaput told the media. “I didn’t talk to the Flyers before the draft or anything. It was quite a surprise.
“I bring a lot of energy and a lot of grit to my game. I like to bring the offensive side also.”
Listed at 6-foot-2, 194 lbs., Chaput is a skilled, not overly physical but feisty forward with an ability to play a two-way game. The Montreal-native, who scored 28 goals and 27 assists in 68 games in his 2010 campaign, expects to be NHL ready in 2-3 years. He has decent offensive potential but as scouts noted, needs to add strength to match his smooth skating and size.
The break up between the Flyers and the coveted but soon-to-be unrestricted free agent defenseman Dan Hamhuis, was suspected to be about money. Maybe even his role in the defensive game plan.
But according to Hamuis’ agent Wade Arnott, the split had nothing to do with the contract.
“We did not present a framework for a contract to Flyers at any point, nor indicate any salary demands,” Arnott told ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun.