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January 26, 2024

Michael Leighton, 2010 miracle Flyers reunite for Alumni Game

Michael Leighton was a late addition to Frida night's Flyers Alumni Game, but was eager to come back and skate with old teammates from that 2010 miracle run.

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Michael-Leighton-File-Photo-Flyers-Stanley-Cup-Playoffs-2010.jpg David Maialetti/Philadelphia Daily News / MCT / Sipa USA

Goaltender Michael Leighton, one of the unsung heroes from the Flyers' miracle run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010, is back in town for the team's alumni game.

It's been nearly 14 years, but for Michael Leighton, the topic of the Flyers' 2010 miracle run to the Stanley Cup Final still gets brought up like it happened yesterday. 

"Oh yeah, every podcast, every interview I do, it comes up," Leighton said. 

But he's always game to talk about it.

"It was an amazing story that year," Leighton continued. "Obviously, it didn't end the way we wanted it to. But the things we accomplished as a team were pretty incredible, and definitely a lot of good memories."

And he's game to step back in goal again with some of his old teammates from that Cinderella club one more time. 

The Flyers will be holding their alumni game Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center against the Boston Bruins of old, with plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the franchise's first of back-to-back Stanely Cup titles in 1974 and the induction of former star Mark Recchi into the team's Hall of Fame the next day. 

It's also bringing some major names from the 2009-10 team back out onto the ice. Scott Hartnell and Riley Cote will be suiting up at the wings again, Kimmo Timonen is back to helm the blue line, and as the big headliner of it all, former captain Mike Richards will be at center skating in front of the Philly faithful once more. 

And between the pipes, Leighton and Brian Boucher, who were both huge in backstopping the 2010 Flyers on that incredible playoff run, will return to sharing the net for one more night after Leighton got called in as a late replacement for Robert Esche, who will now sit out and serve as one of the alumni team's coaches due to injury.

"Obviously it was last minute," Leighton said of the call in. "I just found out on Sunday. Brad Marsh called me, and we've been in contact a little bit before that. I showed interest in it, and obviously, I jumped on the opportunity to come here. It's a good city. Haven't been here in a while, so it's good to be back and be a part of something like this."

And to be back catching up with old teammates who all cemented themselves forever in Philly sports lore – from the shootout win over the Rangers on the final day of the season, the 3-0 comeback against Boston, and "The Shift" to close out Montreal. 

Once they were all back in the room, it was like a day never even passed.

"Yeah, pretty much," Leighton said. "Obviously, things have changed in our lives, right? Kids are getting older, so it's good to catch up, see what's going on in their lives, and obviously they all got new jobs and different paths in life, so it's fun to sit down and chat."

Then take the walk through the tunnel and back out onto the ice in a few more hours for that 7 p.m. puck drop.

"It'll be exciting," Leighton said. "Heard it's gonna be a good crowd. Just being together with all these guys again, and the history of this organization...It's amazing, it's fun. Can't wait."

MORE: Flyers, Owen Tippett closing in on long-term extension

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