Strange news filtering out through the ever-unpredictable New York Islanders goalie crease tonight:
First came word that Kevin Poulin had been recalled on emergency basis thanks to Evgeni Nabokov's lower body injury. Normal.
Then Newsday's Arthur Staple reportweeted that the Islanders had signed John Grahame through the rest of the season to back up Al Montoya. Not so normal. [Update: Here's Staple's story in Newsday.]
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are in a major AHL playoff and division title push and have three games this weekend, so it's understandable that the Isles would want all hands available down there. Also, remember Anders Nilsson is still out with an ankle sprain.
To see Grahame resurrected, though, is a shock to say the least. Staple says the deal is pending a physical.
Grahame was with the Colorado Avalanche organization last season (after signing a similar late-season deal in March 2010) but saw no NHL games, spending most of the season with Lake Erie. He'd been coaching in the USHL this season.
Last time the Isles were in this situation -- okay, they seem to have goalie misfortune every season, so rather back in 2009 when the Isles were in this situation -- Grahame was one of the names rumored to be an option for the Isles. That was when Grahame had been released -- or rather "terminated" for "labor discipline" -- from his KHL deal by Avangard Omsk mid-season, and the Isles signed Wade Dubielewicz, who the Columbus Blue Jackets then Nabokov'd from them on waivers.
With six games remaining in the season, the Islanders have just one more back-to-back set -- this weekend with matinees at home Saturday and Sunday.
Meanwhile, with Nabokov signed for next year but injured now, you hope this is merely prudence for his health and the playoff push of the kids in Bridgeport.