Thursday, March 29, 2012

Isles Smartly Sign Grahame...Wait, What??

John Grahame has signed with the Islanders. In 2012.

I'll just let that sink in.

If he plays, the Islanders would have had six goalie play in a game for the the team, one off the NHL record.

The question however that seems to come up is why would the Islanders do it if they have guys like Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson in Bridgeport of the AHL to come up?? Why not give the young guys some time in the NHL??

The point is that this is a stop-gap move. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are in the mix for a division title and a spot in the playoffs in the AHL. To pull up that team's goalie just to sit on the bench in the NHL and MAYBE get some playing time in-- seems a bit ridiculous for the long-run, especially for meaningless games in the NHL, since the Isles have been eliminated.

While it's suspect, especially since it's been a while since John Grahame has been in the NHL (he did play in the KHL and last year in the AHL), it's a smart move to have a guy that's in some kind of game shape, rather than someone that could be just a beer-league guy to sign to an amateur try-out contract or to pluck someone from the AHL or ECHL in order to get them a taste of the show AND maybe stifle the chances of that team to actually make the playoffs or be there for a stretch to get them in the playoffs.

Yet, the biggest question is whether or not John Grahame will get some time in net. Considering there is five games left, considering the Islanders seem to be cursed with goaltending injuries-- you would think he could get some time in there to see if he can actually hack, as well as saving up Al Montoya from possible bad things happening to end the season.

Grahame has been the goalie coach for the USHL Sioux City Musketeers this past season and was 23-19-5 over 48 games in the past two seasons prior with the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters, so he could be ready to actually get something done. There's two games that I could see Grahame getting without having accusations of the Islanders tanking-- one against Winnipeg and one against Columbus-- as both teams are eliminated from the playoffs. Heck, if Montoya slips and Grahame comes in as a reliever and lights it up tonight; it could be sooner.

In the end, people will say this was an out of left field thing for the Islanders and another sign this is a team with no direction at all. I say it's a smart decision when you take into account that their younger guys will be able to experience meaningful games in the minor leagues rather than gathering dust on a NHL bench.

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