HF chats with an AHL All-Star

By Corine Gatti

Micheal Leighton made his professional debut with
the Norfolk Admirals last October and is making a believer out of any naysayers. A sixth round draft choice of the Chicago Blackhawks- this AHL
rookie is topping the stat sheets with a record of 14-6-6 and 2.17 GAA.

And in the next several weeks, he will add another achievement to his resume’– the AHL All-Star game for team Canada played in Newfoundland next month.

HF met with Micheal after an 2-2 OT against the Rochester Americans Friday night. As we waited, there was nothing but silence except for the commerical reruns on the office TV. You couldn’t even hear the hum of voices that usually seep through the dressing room walls and doors.

No yelling.. No shouting matches.. Just a flash of coach Trent Yawney quietly leaving in his grey tailored suit, and the sound of the door crashing as he made his exit.

Micheal Leighton appeared and introduced himself. He was damp-faced in a black T-shirt and workout shorts barefooted- answering questions faster than he can turn away opposition shots.
Here’s what he shared.

HF: Although you were not a high draft choice, have you
been amazed by your stellar performances so early in your career?

ML: I am a little bit, I have a great team in front of me and that is a big help. All I wanted was to come here and do my best and that’s what I am doing.

HF:What lesson in front of the net have you learned?
ML: More or less, its communication. I learned that in the last three years in juniors (Windsor) and here its
more of a team building, you do everything as a group and it goes back to communication.

HF: Take us to the day when you heard you made the All-Star team?

ML: (smiling) I was really excited. I only went to one All-Star game in the OHL. It’s my first year here and to be selected is a great feeling.

HF: You recorded your first shutout this season in only the third outing. Can share your feelings about this accomplishment?

ML: It’s a great thing for me. It was the first shutout of my career, I just have to keep going.

HF: Who has influenced your life?

ML: My family, who would bring me to the rink at five in the morning before work.

HF: What do you do for fun?

ML: Movies.. American Pie, Dumb and Dumber; I am a comedy guy.