ATLANTA (CP) - The Atlanta Thrashers signed goaltender Mike Dunham on Friday, giving rookie Kari Lehtonen some veteran support.
The Thrashers were in desperate need of an experienced netminder after a knee injury last week ended Pasi Nurminen's career.
"In signing Mike, we have added a solid, veteran goalie with more than 300 games of NHL experience to our club," Thrashers general manager Don Waddell said in a statement. "This addition is a great complement to our goaltending corps and gives us the talent and experience in net that is necessary to be successful in this league."
Nurminen was expected to mentor Lehtonen, a fellow Finn, this season. That task will now fall on Dunham's shoulders. Lehtonen, 21, was picked No. 2 overall in the 2002 draft and was already expected to take over as Atlanta's top goalie, even before Nurminen's injury.
The highly touted prospect spent most of the past two seasons with the AHL's Chicago Wolves but was called up to the Thrashers late in the 2003-04 season, beginning his NHL career with a four-game winning streak.
Dunham, 33, has a 129-163-39 record with 2.69 goals-against average and 18 shutouts in 358 NHL games over eight seasons.
The native of Johnson City, N.Y., posted four shutouts and a 2.97 GAA in 13 games with Skelleftea of Sweden's second division last season.
His most recent NHL team was the New York Rangers, who obtained him from Nashville in December 2002. In 2003-04, he was 16-30-6 with a 3.03 GAA and .896 save percentage.
Dunham was a third-round draft pick of the New Jersey Devils in 1990.