Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 11/19/09 at 10:31 AM ET
Although the Hurricanes are far from the most injured team in the NHL (Carolina has 57 man-games lost compared to 109 for the Canucks), they are starting to run into some cap issues. Carolina started the season a little over their own budget, but with plenty of room under the cap. That’s no longer the case.
To ease the strain, Carolina has placed Cam Ward on the Long Term Injured Reserve and has recalled Justin Peters from Albany. This allows a portion of Ward’s salary to be withheld from the cap hit. Presumably, this has been done retroactive to November 8.
In order to be eligible for LTIR status, a player must miss at least ten games or 24 days. Ward’s targeted return will be December 5. By then, he will have missed 11 games and 27 days.
In a related move, the Hurricanes have assigned doorstop Tim Conboy to Albany. The utility player is on a one-way contract, but was placed on and cleared waivers last week. I’m not very good with the CBA and how it dictates salary exemptions, but my understanding is that even though the Canes will still have to pay Conboy his full salary of $500k, it won’t count against the cap. Correct me if I’m wrong.
So tonight when the Canes suit up against the Maple Leafs, they’ll be starting emergency signee Manny Legace while the fourth string keeper sits in the backup chair. Still no word about the severity of Michael Leighton’s injury.
Out of all this, let’s not forget Manny Legace’s historical tendency to get injured in the first week of December. I already jokingly said that he would hurt his knee on December 7 against the Pens. While December 5 is a best case scenario for Ward’s return, we’re all pretty sure that it won’t be quite that soon. And if the same cards are dealt to Legace that are dealt every December, the Canes will have three injured goaltenders. That would be too much to take.
Anyway, the Canes will be duking it out against their basement-dwelling partner Maple Leafs tonight, and they’ll look to extend their points-getting streak to four games.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.