12 November 2007

Update on Lehtonen, from Kari Central™

Haha, you thought it was funny, huh Robbie? Now it's going to stick!

In today's AJC, Craig Custance reports:

Kari Lehtonen’s progress continues, and Waddell said they hope he can get back out on the ice and practice next week. Personally, I think any talk of trading Lehtonen is crazy. First, Kari got off to that slow start and he’s coming off an injury, so for any trade purposes his value would likely be lower than in the past. Second, Pavelec is 20 years old with four NHL starts under his belt. Third, Johan Hedberg is a free agent after this season. So let’s say you trade Kari and you don’t get good value. Then after this season is up, all you have left is a rookie goalie - who no matter how good you think he is, is going to have ups and downs. Me? I’d continue to give Ondrej the majority of the starts while Kari is hurt, and assuming he continues to play well and that’s a big assumption at this point, you can let Kari work out the kinks in a rehab assignment in Chicago. Then you swap them out and IF everybody is playing well in February, you trade Moose near the trade deadline to a contender looking for a solid veteran goalie. But it’s a fun debate, anyways.
For the record, we agree wholeheartedly, and are 90% sure that this is the likely scenario come Deadline Day. Would you like to know why? Of course you would.

Maxime Ouellet

You're saying "....who?" now right now, aren't you? Our point exactly. He was the Caps' compensation, along with a handful of picks, when the Flyers rented Adam Oates in 01-02 at the deadline, in hopes of making playoffs. Max was to be the future of the Capitals after 3-4 starts where he shamed Kolzig and made (IR-relegated) Charpentier look like a chump.

And where is he now? Well after the Caps sent him packing to Vancouver once he turned out to be a bust, and was injured badly enough to only play 21 games in the 05-06 season, he moved on to play 2 games for the Kassel Huskies, in a league we've never heard of.

We're not saying Pavelec is going to wind up like this. However, don't let a flash (or five) in the pan dazzle you. Immediacy is not the main concern when you're talking about a franchise player. Long term is your main concern, and providing Lehts can heal properly and play the remainder of the season, we honestly, and we stake our reputation on this, believe he will be one of the top goaltenders of the season. Frankly, we wouldn't be surprised to see him win the Vezina within the next 5 years. Without Hartley to make Kari's life miserable, there's nothing holding him back from returning to his Chicago- and Jokerit-form. Which if you recall, we saw a small bit of before he injured his groin. Again.

The nature of the hockey fan is to demand an immediate trade the second one of your players doesn't show up and give his all (or is injured and the replacement player for the duration shows flashes of brilliance). We just want to take this opportunity to tell you, you haven't seen shit yet when it comes to Lehtonen. Be patient. Give it some time. We know it's hard - believe us. But it will be well worth the wait when he is back to 100%. Pavelec will be a great back up for him until he has his pro-legs under him, and then, and only then, will anyone really need to consider there to be much of a goaltender controversy, and will Waddell be faced with deciding between playing them 50/50, or trading one to a team where he'll get more time, bringing in a suited backup for the Thrash.

For Kari Central™, this is Maal. Kippis!


robbie dee said...

Haha, you thought it was funny, huh Robbie? Now it's going to stick!

pleased to be of service? heh...

Maal said...

We'd totally cut you a royalty cheque but uh... well, would you take Monopoly money?!

Knotwurth Mentioning said...

Hehehe, I knew to whom you were referring when you name Ouellet, ironically! And the point is well-made! You can look to one other team who abandoned their starter for a young backup over in Nashville. The team has gone from being a perennial contender to a bottomfeeder. And though it's true that other factors play into that, I think a large part is that they dumped the super-reliable Vokoun for the far less experienced Mason, and Mason hasn't been up to snuff.

Nonetheless, the situation's not quite the same in Atlanta, since they have no real starter at this point. Hopefully Leht gets up from his injury and pwns the opposition. But if that doesn't happen, I wouldn't be surprised to see him moving at the deadline for someone more established and reliable. The Thrashers have all the pieces to be a contender, but without a goalie success is hard to come by!