December 13, 2011 1:09 PM
Though easily the most stable position on the roster as recently as a few weeks ago, the Checkers’ goaltending situation suddenly has the potential to be thrown into turmoil.
According to multiple reports, the Carolina Hurricanes placed Justin Peters, the reigning AHL Goaltender of the Month with Charlotte, on re-entry waivers Tuesday afternoon for the purpose of recalling him to the NHL. At noon on Wednesday, the Hurricanes will find out whether they can recall Peters as planned or if they’ve lost him to a claim by another team.
The former scenario would clearly be the most ideal for both the Hurricanes and Checkers, as it would presumably result in Mike Murphy, the other half of Charlotte’s goaltending tandem, returning to the Checkers and starting for the team on Thursday. Peters could then follow in his footsteps once Hurricanes backup Brian Boucher returns from a lower-body injury in a few weeks, restoring the normal order of things in Charlotte.
However, should the latter occur and another team claim Peters, the Hurricanes would need to keep Murphy for the duration of Boucher’s injury, leaving rookie John Muse the only other goaltender under contract with the organization. Muse has not appeared in an AHL game this season, but would quickly be pressed into duty during the team’s upcoming four-games-in-six-days home stand. Either the Hurricanes or Checkers would then need to bring in outside help, if only as a temporary backup to Muse.
Though one has periodically taken the lead over the other in what has proven to be an interesting back-and-forth competition to this point, Murphy (2.44 goals-against average, .922 save percentage) and Peters (2.49, .920) fittingly have near-identical statistics with the Checkers this season. If one were to depart, there would always be the other to carry more of the load, as was the case when Murphy made eight consecutive appearances due to Peters’ nagging October injury.
Still, as was proven in that case, such depth is an obvious strength. Coach Jeff Daniels often talks of having two No. 1 goaltenders - a luxury he would lose with the Canes’ potential loss of Peters.