Last week, the Canes decided that Michael Leighton had indeed done enough in the AHL to replace John Grahame as Cam Ward's backup this season. On Wednesday, Leighton, 27, signed a two-year contract worth $1.2 million to make it official.
The AHL's goalie of the year and an MVP candidate, Leighton led the AHL in shutouts (7) and save percentage (.931) and was third in goals-against average (2.10).
His 98-save performance in a five-overtime playoff loss, the longest game in AHL history, is believed to be a professional hockey record. At $600,000 per season, the Canes will save $800,000 in that spot. Grahame made $1.4 million in each of the past two seasons.