Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: manny legace
Today, the Hurricanes, via the Canes Now blog at the Raleigh News & Disturber, have announced that they’ve made a decision about the goaltending logjam. 23-year old Justin Peters will be the guy backing up Cam Ward next season. This means that 37-year old Manny Legace, who played his heart out in an emergency situation for the Canes, will be free to become a free agent on July 1. He suggested that he might consider playing in the KHL if things don’t work out for him in the NHL.
Manny started the season in the Atlanta Thrashers farm team, and was signed out of desperation when the Canes and River Rats had a bunch of injuries to goaltenders. There wasn’t anyone available in Albany, so they had to go the free agent route. At one point, Albany had a goaltender on loan from another club.
This is just one of many moves to get the team younger, and it really sucks that a quality guy like Manny got caught up in the numbers game, but it is what it is, and the youth movement is something that has to happen.
Back in early October, if someone had told me that the Hurricanes wouldn’t pitch a shutout until March 7, I would have laughed. If someone had told me that Manny Legace would be the one to do it, I would have hit them. Thanks to poor play early in the season, a bout of injuries to Cam Ward and a dismissal of Michael Leighton, Manny Legace has pretty much found himself in the starting goalie’s chair in Carolina. And he got the team’s first shutout of the season on Sunday, a 4-0 win over the Thrashers.
On Thursday, Legace defeated the Senators 4-1, and this had quite a bit of significance for him. It was the first time he’d ever defeated the Senators and it means that he has at least one victory against all 30 active teams.
I’ve said a number of times, and I’ll say again: I hope some other team is taking note and I really hope that Manny gets a contract when he becomes a free agent on July 1. He deserves it very much, but it looks like the Canes won’t have any room for him on the big roster. Justin Peters has pretty much played himself into a situation where it’s his position (backup to Cam) to lose. He’s much younger and much cheaper. It sucks for Manny, but this team needs to get younger.
Peters, who has played very well in four starts, got his first NHL loss on Saturday, a 4-1 loss at Florida.
On Thursday night, the new-look Carolina Hurricanes took to the ice with a very different team, but the result was the same. A win. They defeated Matt Cullen and the visiting Ottawa Senators 4-1 to earn their seventh straight win. Remarkably, they remain in the playoff hunt, and they’ve turned from the league’s worst team to the league’s hottest team.
Manny Legace made 25 saves and was the game’s first star. Newly recalled Zach Boychuk pitched in two assists. The newly acquired Brian Pothier dished out three hits and five blocked shots. The Canes got goals from Tom Kostopoulos, Rod Brind’Amour, Chad LaRose and an empty netter from Brandon Sutter. Matt Cullen notched his first goal as a Sen.
The Hurricanes started this week with a four game win streak and were about to embark on a four game road trip. The Oilers and Flames showed the Canes what the Alberta Advantage is, then the boys flew across the continent to New York for a back-to-back at Buffalo and Long Island.
Cam Ward was added to the list of injured players and Manny Legace got the start in nets. He picked up a 4-3 win against Ryan Miller, who did not perform well. He allowed a couple of uncharacteristically soft goals including the game winner from Jussi Jokinen. One that he saw all the way, but didn’t stop. No traffic, no screen, no re-direction. Nothing. Hopefully it was just a hiccup and not a sign of things to come for Ryan Miller. I say this with reference to his role on team USA for the upcoming Olympic games.
Eric Staal continued his pace, picking up a goal and an assist to stretch his points scoring streak to 11 games. He’s recorded 14 (10/4) points in nine games since being named captain of the team.
On Saturday, the Hurricanes sent Michael Leighton to the River Rats. The 28-year old backup was placed on and cleared waivers this week. Because he is on a one-way contract, this assignment does not save the Hurricanes any money, nor does it change the salary cap hit.
Leighton has worked hard to get a break in the NHL, but the honest truth is that he’s not an NHL goalie. And he might never be. He hasn’t learned to utilize his size and he gets out of position too much. Also, he isn’t a strong enough skater to recover when he finds himself out of position. All of that aside, he wasn’t getting enough playing time to develop or maintain NHL skills. It’s a little bit sad that Michael was essentially discarded, but it just didn’t make hockey sense to keep him on the big team. Manny Legace is on a two-way contract and would save the organ-eye-zation some money if he were to be assigned, but Legace gives the team a better chance.
Bad break for Leights, but Manny Legace deserves this.
On Monday, there was a lot of contention amongst Hurricanes fans when rumors started to circulate that Rod Brind’Amour would be a healthy scratch for the Pens game. While some refused to believe it and some chose to have their feelings by it, the rumor had truth to it. Carolina’s 78 year-old Captain was exiled to the press box as a healthy scratch. The coaching staff finally decided that his five minutes of ice time should go to someone else.
On some teams, this might have made waves in the room, but it didn’t seem to upset the group in white tonight. When the final horn sounded, Carolina got its first road win of the season on their penultimate visit to the Mellon Arena.
Manny Legace managed not to get injured tonight, which disproves my theory about his health in the first seven days of December. Or at least it stops a bizarre trend. One other bizarre trend continued, and it was that Eric Staal registered zero goals and two assists for the third straight game.
Erik Cole potted three goals this afternoon as the Hurricanes beat the visiting Canucks 5-3. Ray Whitney contributed a goal and two assists and Eric Staal had two helpers of his own. Matt Cullen couldn’t stretch his goal streak to four games, but with one assist, he extended his points streak to five games.
Manny Legace let in a soft goal in the first, then two great Canucks goals in the third made things a bit tense, but in the end the Canes prevailed.
Carolina remains in the NHL’s cellar, 12 points out of eighth in the East. They are about to embark on a four game road trip, and the road hasn’t been kind. They are 0-10-3 away from the RBC Center.
Cam Ward is hoping to return next week, possibly as early as Monday at Pittsburgh. The timing could be perfect, for a number of reasons…
Carolina extended their streak of earning points to five games with an impressive 3-1 win over the visiting Bolts. It was only the second regulation win of the season for Carolina and it snapped a streak of four straight overtime games and three straight shootouts.
Brandon Sutter had a four game point streak snapped, but still played a good game. Jussi Jokinen extended his points streak to four games with the game-winning goal. In the past four games he has three goals and an assist.
Manny Legace played with confidence, played well, and had the guys in front of him play well. It was probably the most complete game this team has played all season.
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.
On Tuesday, the Hurricanes earned one standings point and lost another goaltender. Carolina had a one goal lead late in the third period, but Manny Legace gave up a bad goal to Sergei Kostitsyn which sent the game into overtime. In the overtime period, Carolina had a man advantage for the final two minutes of play, but failed to cash in on the four-on-three advantage.
The shootout went six rounds, with Maxim Lapierre getting the goal and Carey Price making an improbable skate save on Matt Cullen.
Carolina has earned points in three straight games, and Brandon Sutter scored again. These are good things. But the rather bad news is that Michael Leighton suffered an apparent groin injury in the second period.
On Monday morning, the Hurricanes announced what everyone knew was coming. They have signed 36-year old veteran goaltender Manny Legace to a one-year two-way contract. He will be paid the league minimum of $500k at the NHL level and $105k at the AHL level. The one-time Stanley Cup winner was last seen in Atlanta’s system on a tryout contract with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. This, of course, came on the heels of Cam Ward suffering a deep laceration on his left thigh on Saturday. Ward has been ruled out for at least four weeks. The signing was pretty much an emergency situation, and given the price tag, I don’t think they could have done any better.
While some people are making light of the fact that Legace was drafted by (but never played for) the Whale, there’s a far more alarming thing about Legace that should concern all of us. There’s a really bizarre trend with his health. Specifically, he’s never been able to stay healthy in December