Checkers goalie Justin Peters cleared re-entry waivers today, increasing the chances that his loss will only be temporary.
As a veteran player, Peters’ waiver placement was necessary to bring him up to the NHL, which is precisely what the Carolina Hurricanes did once able. They also reassigned Mike Murphy to Charlotte, where he will presumably start the team’s next game at home against Chicago on Thursday.
The news comes as a relief for the Checkers, who went from having two No. 1 goaltenders in Murphy and Peters last week to potentially having to scramble to find a backup for rookie John Muse as they attempted to break a season-long three-game losing streak.
Peters, 25, gives the Hurricanes a familiar and experienced backup behind Cam Ward while usual understudy Brian Boucher recovers from a lower-body injury that is expected to keep him out for around two more weeks. (Update: According to the Raleigh News and Observer, Boucher will be out for "another couple of months")
. Though he did not feature heavily with the Hurricanes last season while appearing in just 12 games, Peters did spend the entire year with Carolina, his first in the NHL following a nine-game debut in 2009-10.
Through little fault of his own, the reigning AHL Goaltender of the Month has seen his overall numbers dip through the Checkers’ early-December struggles, but still holds a 2.49 goals-against average and .920 save percentage for the season.
Murphy, 22, earned his first NHL experience with Carolina over the last few weeks, stopping all nine shots that came his way over the course of two separate relief appearances. He comes back with perfect stat ratios and a story to tell, as he became the only goaltender in NHL history to suffer his first defeat prior to allowing his first goal due to a technicality in the Hurricanes 7-6 loss at Calgary on Dec. 6.
In what has been something of a see-saw throughout the season, Murphy, by way of avoiding the Checkers’ recent slide, comes back with slightly better statistics among the organization’s AHL netminders, holding a career-best 2.44 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.