38-Year-Old Goalie – Free Agent
John Grahame Contract Information:
Signed through the 2011-12 season with the Islanders in March of 2012.
Grahame and the Islanders agreed to a contract for the rest of the 2011-2012 season, Islanders.NHL.com reports.
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John Grahame: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Grahame was signed by the Isles last season due to a rash of injuries at the goaltending position, but did not appear in a game. He will have difficulty making the team this year and his long career could be coming to a close. He has not played in an NHL game since the 2007-08 season.
Grahame is currently third on the Avs' goalie depth chart, behind Craig Anderson and Peter Budaj. The 34-year-old Grahame appeared in 26 AHL games last season - 14 with the Lake Erie Monsters and 12 with the Adirondack Phantoms. He was a combined 6-17-3 with a 3.17 GAA between the two teams. Grahame has not played in the NHL since 2007-08 when he was with Carolina. Both Anderson and Budaj would have to be sidelined with injuries in order for Grahame to see any significant time with the Avs this season.
Grahame is a capable, veteran goaltender who finds himself in the #2 position on the depth chart because of (1) the organization's commitment to Cam Ward as its goalie of the future, and (2) Grahame's own inability to capitalize on the opportunities presented by Ward's frequent meltdowns last season. Grahame had the chance to seize the #1 job on several occasions, but could never answer with a strong outing. He will have more chances this season, and if he can wrest the job away from Ward, he'll be a good fantasy value. But that's a gamble we can't endorse, given what we've seen.
The biggest questions for Grahame as the season unfolds are (1) whether he can unseat Cam Ward for the starting netminder's job, and (2) if not, how he'll take being #2. We think Ward is the real thing, and will relegate Grahame to a role he won't enjoy -- not a formula for fantasy (or on-ice) success.
Grahame has long maintained that he should be an NHL starter and last season, he showed his hyperbole to be true. At times, his play was much better than starter Nikolai Khabibulin fueling a netminding controversy in the state of Florida. This season, the rubber will have to hit the road for Grahame, who will be pushed by the talented yet enigmatic Sean Burke. We think he'll pull it off and surprise a lot of people around the NHL. At worst, you're looking at a platoon situation with the team playing the hottest hand. Go get him, and reap the rewards.