Carolina's emergency signing of Manny Legace to fill in while Cam Ward is out is interesting on a number of levels.
Sure, it's easy to look at a goalie who couldn't make Atlanta's roster and scoff, but he's also a veteran with tons of experience. The Hurricanes need a stable hand at this point as much as they need a quick one. Legace should be able to provide that, at the least.
Most notably, it's an indication that the Hurricanes aren't completely certain Michael Leighton can handle the load while Ward is out. If they were, they could bring up one of their AHL goalies to watch from the bench for the next month (more on that later). The fact that they didn't indicates they want more options. This is unfortunate, because Leighton two years ago played so well in the AHL that it looked like he'd be suited for spot duty at worst in the NHL. But given how few games he has started since he was called up at the beginning of last season, it's hardly Leighton's fault if he's not in prime game shape.
It's also an indication that Ward's injury may have ramifications that last beyond the month or so he may miss. When Ward returned quickly, after less than two weeks, from a less severe version of a similar injury at the end of the 2006-07 season, he was clearly at less than full strength. Even when Ward is cleared to play, he may not be ready to play. Legace gives Carolina some flexibility in that area. They should have learned by now that rushing Ward back from this kind of an injury can be a mistake.
It is not, however, an indication of a lack of faith in either of Carolina's AHL goalies, Justin Peters or Mike Murphy. Both are still young (and let's not forget the development curve for goalies is far longer than any other position), both are still developing and both need more experience in the AHL before they're ready for an extended period of NHL time. Their time will come -- or it won't -- but it certainly isn't now.
Ward's injury could be a killer blow for a team that has almost always tried to save money at the backup goalie position. Kevin Weekes was on top of his game in the fall of 2002 when he was knocked out with a concussion during a cathartic win over Detroit; his injury played a key role in Carolina's fall from grace that season.