Hockey Stuff: Grahame Put On Waivers; Canes Plugging Holes

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NOT CELEBRATING | Another loss makes Canes’ skid official 

The Hurricanes’ struggles are now official. A disastrous December didn’t get better with the calendar changing to 2008, so after losing four of their last five, Carolina’s lead in the Southeast Division has dwindled to three points.

The injuries have piled up almost as quickly as the losses: Justin Williams is out for the rest of the regular season, and forwards Scott Walker and Matt Cullen and defensemen Niclas Wallin, Bret Hedican and David Tanabe are in various states of disrepair.

To help out, the Hurricanes recalled forwards Keith Aucoin and Brandon Nolan from their AHL affiliate in Albany, N. Y. They also called up goalie Michael Leighton for the first time this season, and reportedly have put backup netminder John Grahame on waivers. Leighton has played in just 47 NHL games, but he leads the American Hockey League with five shutouts. He’s recorded 13 wins, has a goals-against average of 2.14 and a save percentage of .928.

Grahame is 4-6-1 with a 3.83 GAA and a .875 save percentage, among the worst numbers in the NHL.

Speculation is that the Hurricanes are also shopping for a tough defenseman to help provide muscle to the blueline.

Carolina plays at Atlanta Friday and at St. Louis Saturday.

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