Carolina Hurricanes: The Curious Case of Cam Ward’s Backups

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 2: Goaltender Cam Ward #30 of the Carolina Hurricanes stretches on the ice during warm ups against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on April 2, 2018 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Cam Ward
SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 2: Goaltender Cam Ward #30 of the Carolina Hurricanes stretches on the ice during warm ups against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on April 2, 2018 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Cam Ward /
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Nov 13, 2006; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes JOHN GRAHAME during the game against Buffalo Sabres at the RBC Center. The Sabres won 7-4. (Photo by Bob Leverone/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)
Nov 13, 2006; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes JOHN GRAHAME during the game against Buffalo Sabres at the RBC Center. The Sabres won 7-4. (Photo by Bob Leverone/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images) /

John Grahame

If you’re like me, this is a name that haunted you in the years immediately after the 2006 Stanley Cup.  With previous starter Martin Gerber gone to make way for Ward’s ascendance, veteran goalie John Grahame was signed to serve as the backup.

After breaking in with the Boston Bruins, Grahame moved to Tampa Bay, winning the Stanley Cup in 2004 before taking over the starting job there.  With 179 NHL games and a championship under his belt, Grahame seemed like a good if unspectacular choice for a veteran backup.

To say things went poorly is an understatement:

2006-07: 28GP; 10W; 13L; 2.85 GAA; .897 SV%; 0 SO

2007-08: 17GP; 5W; 7L; 3.75 GAA; .875 SV%; 0 SO

Ouch.

Following his stint with the Carolina Hurricanes, Grahame spent with one season playing for Avangard Omsk in the KHL (which let to a strange ending) and 2 seasons in the AHL, split between the Adirondack Phantoms and the Lake Erie Monsters.

After retiring, Grahame spent time as a goaltending coach before venturing into the business world where he has found success.

Best Performance: Grahame turned aside 28 of 29 shots in a 4-1 victory against the Atlanta Thrashers on February 24th, 2007.

Overall Impression: Issues began plaguing Grahame during his time in Tampa Bay and didn’t dissipate after his move to the Hurricanes.  His confidence often seemed to waver, which is poisonous to a goaltender, especially at the NHL level.

He did have a unique mask during his stint with the Carolina Hurricanes: