Monday, June 12, 2006

Who Will the New Goalie Be?

Interesting stuff going on with the Wings the last few days. First the news came down that the Wings have told Manny Legace that they will not be offering him a new contract, meaning there will be a new starting goalie brought in. The alarming part of that article was this: "In all likelihood the Wings will sign Chris Osgood to be the backup; he made $900,000 last season and doesn't have a case for much of a raise."

I'll get to that in a minute.

So Legace is gone. No biggie. I could've lived with giving him one more shot, but he basically talked his way out of Hockeytown with his "I want to be a starter, I don't want to be on the bench again" and "I know that if I lose [this series] I won't be back in Detroit" comments that he made. The question then become, who do you bring in? Martin Biron is available, one of the Anaheim goalies (more likely Giguere) will be out there, Roberto Luongo might be available via trade, Nabokov and Raycroft could very well be available. Martin Gerber might be available. So there are some options out there.

But then there's this from TSN:
In other news, free agency doesn't start until July 1 but one of the goaltenders the Detroit Red Wings may be interested in kicking the tires on is former Toronto Maple Leafs netminder Ed Belfour, depending on his health situation. Wouldn't that be interesting with Belfour possibly following in the footsteps of Curtis Joseph.

The alarm factor goes up a notch on that one, simply because it's Bob McKenzie kicking that out there. I would just laugh if it was Al Strachan bringing it up. I don't have much interest in a 41 year old goalie that had a 3.29, .892 this year. I think I'd rather have the combo of Sauer/Ruden again than have Belfour and Osgood. Shoot me now.

But then there's a rumor from Eklund. Granted his method of reporting is to throw a bunch of shit at the wall and see what sticks. He says that this rumor has come from two different people that are not connected to each other.

On to today`s rumor....two solid sources are telling me that a trade is in the works that would send Luongo to Detroit for Datsyuk. One source had the trade being much larger, which makes more sense...Luongo and Olesz for Datsyuk, Holland, and Jakub Kindl. I will be making calls throughout the day on this one...

Since I highly doubt the Wings GM is trading himself to Florida as part of the deal (though I can dream), the question is who did he mean instead of Holland? Hudler or Howard? Howard would make more sense for Florida. Datsyuk and Hudler are basically the same player, and since they'd be giving up a goalie it'd make sense that they would want a top prospect back. I would make that deal contingent upon Luongo signing a long-term deal (and I'm sure they'd want Datsyuk to do the same). It doesn't make sense to do that trade if Luongo could potentially be a one-and-done since we'd be giving up the best goalie prospect we've had since...umm....Sawchuk?

As for what was reported above about Osgood coming back as the backup, I just have to ask: WHY? What sense does that make? Obviously if you're getting a guy like Luongo, it doesn't make sense to have Jim Howard as backup (provided that he's not part of the trade) since he'd only be playing like 10-15 games, but if you're going to bring in a Raycroft, Biron, Nabokov or someone like that, where Howard could get 30-40 starts, then why not do that? Dare I mention that both Cam Ward and Bryzgalov both started roughly 30 games for their teams this season? If it's getting to the home stretch and you're not comfortable with the guys you've got, you can always swing a deal at the deadline to bring in a vet (a la Roloson). What's the point in spending a million bucks on a backup that's going to suck for 80% of the season and then comment after each 4 goal-in-a-period game that he'd be playing better if he had more playing time?

Holland swore on the radio (and it was mentioned in the linked Free Press article as well) that he would not trade Pavel Datsyuk. I've been through it before how I think that's about the most short-sighted, idiotic thing I've ever heard. It makes no sense not to at least dangle him out there and see what you can get, since he's obviously going to be tough to resign (and we'll have to overpay him if we do resign him). If they have a chance to pull in a guy like Luongo, who is one of the best goalies in the league and only 25 to boot, they have to do it. They'd be subtracting exactly 0 goals from the roster come playoff time and adding that player that would make a lot of other teams in the West go "Oh shit" like they did when we got Hasek.


Anonymous said...

In the end I don't think the Wings deal Dats for Luongo. If it's being discussed at all (which Holland seems to deny), I think it gets scuttled. Belfour would be amazingly stupid. A 41-year-old with a bad back? Yeah, makes sense.

Probably our best option is Gerber if the Canes want to deal. Ward is going to take over in net for them and they won't want to pay Gerber to be a backup. Plus he's good, and will be only 30. I wouldn't worry about his playoff performance as he was not fully healthy with a stomach virus towards the end of the season. But, the Ilitch/Karmanos rivalry may prevent any deal with the Canes.

Packer487 said...

I like the Gerber option as well if we can't get Luongo. He's good and he'd be the perfect guy to bring in while Jimmy Howard gets a little more seasoning (it would help him to get a year of being "The Man" in the AHL, even though I think he would just just fine as the DRW backup).

If they won't deal us Gerber, then I vote we just screw with their cap and sign Eric Staal to an offer sheet.


Anonymous said...

Heh, I like the way you think Tim ;-)

Anonymous said...

That should have said my name...