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John Grahame back in the NHL, 25 percent rule to follow

Mar 29, 2012, 12:14 PM EDT

Just a few weeks after Marty Turco ended his exile by signing with the Bruins, another former goalie is returning to the league.

ESPN New York reports that John Grahame — who hasn’t played an NHL game since 2008 — has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders. The move suggests the lower-body injury suffered by Evgeni Nabokov is serious enough to sideline him for the remainder of the season (which, it should be noted, only consists of six more games.)

Grahame broke into the league with Boston during the 1999-2000 season and rose to prominence in Tampa Bay, where he backed up Nikolai Khabibulin during the 2004 Stanley Cup championship run, then emerged as the Lightning’s No. 1 following the lockout (after Khabibulin inked for big bucks in Chicago.)

Grahame won 29 games as Tampa’s starter but was ventilated by Ottawa in the playoffs. The Lightning lost the opening round in five games and Grahame finished with a .847 save percentage and 4.79 GAA, leading to John Tortorella’s infamous “25 percent rule” quote (FF to 2:14).

The 36-year-old Grahame has spent his last few years bouncing around the globe. He spent the 2008-09 season with Omsk Avangard of the KHL, then returned to North America to play with AHL outfits Adirondack and Lake Erie.

Sadly, the Isles will not play Tortorella’s Rangers again this year.

  1. 8man - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Won a Calder Cup for Providence before moving up to Boston. He had some great games. Hope it works out for him.

  2. bcisleman - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Would not have happened but for the fact that one of the Isles’ Bridgeport AHL affiliate’s goalies was injured and calling up the other one would damage the affiliate’s playoff hopes. Grahame might start the April 1 game against Ottawa as it is the third game in four days and is back to back with a game against Boston.

  3. hockeyflow33 - Mar 29, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    You forgot the two note-worthiest Grahme stories. He blew out his achilles one night falling off a curb hammered and he was kicked out of the KHL for drinking too much

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