The Chicago Wolves announced Tuesday that veteran goaltender Michael Leighton has been loaned to the team by the Arizona Coyotes (NHL).
The 36-year-old five-time AHL All-Star joins the Wolves with 584 American and National Hockey League games to his credit. A 14-year veteran of the AHL, Leighton has accrued a 235-175-65 record with a 2.34 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and a league-record 49 shutouts.
Over the course of his career, Leighton has spend time between the pipes for the Adirondack Phantoms, Albany River Rats, Charlotte Checkers, Norfolk Admirals, Philadelphia Phantoms, Portland Pirates, Rochester Americans, Rockford IceHogs and Syracuse Crunch.
Most recently, the Ontario native appeared in nine games for the Syracuse Crunch this season and posted a 3-3-2 record with a 3.03 GAA and .868 save percentage. On Nov. 14, he and forward Tye McGinn were traded by the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Arizona organization in exchange for goaltender Louis Domingue.
Selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the sixth round, 165th overall, of the 1999 NHL Draft, Leighton made his debut with the club on Jan. 8, 2003, against the then-Phoenix Coyotes. Through 65 minutes — including overtime — Leighton made 31 saves en route to a 0-0 tie. He played for the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final against the Blackhawks.
With the Leighton loan, C.J. Motte has been released from his professional tryout contract with Chicago and will return to the Quad City Mallards (ECHL). The 25-year-old Motte backstopped the Wolves for three games this season and accrued a 1-1-1 record, 2.30 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.
Leighton will be available Tuesday as the Wolves and Texas Stars compete at Allstate Arena for the first time this season. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. and the game will stream on AHLLive.com.