04 October 2008

Let's talk Atlanta's goalies

Maybe you've noticed, maybe you haven't, but the goalies are kind of my wheelhouse. So allow me, if you will, some time and space to craft up some prognostications.

EDIT: So I was listening to the radio broadcast, and from what I remember, Ondrej was upset with his demotion, and it seemed that the second he was cut, his agent was calling the team, threatening that he won't report to Chicago, that they're in breach of contract, that they used the 4GAA last night out of context in deciding who the better goalies were. Now I will posit that perhaps Pony made the call in a fit of blind rage and frustration. I would have. And there are some that posit his agent (Allan Walsh, if you're interested) had been waiting for exactly a situation of this magnitude, where he caught Waddell in a lie, and in a potential breach of contract, and lo his day hath come. So in a way, Ondrej would be nothing more than a mere pawn in this little game. Which fucking sucks. I'm just not sure if I buy that, being that Walsh also reps Havlat, Elias, Fleury. Unless there is some long-buried hatched between he and D-Wad.

Back to my earlier rambling.

I think we all saw what happened end of last season when the Caps picked up Huet, but didn't do anything about Johnson or Kolzig. One goalie sat in the stands, watching his team play, and another sat on the bench, and watched his team, the franchise he'd worked his entire career to build, start tearing it up.

I don't think D-Wad'll carry 3 goalies, although that would be a convenient loophole in the cap thing, seeing as how we've got an eNORmous cushion still to play with.

So let's say you're Don Waddell. You have three options.

1. Let Pavelec walk.
2. Trade Lehtonen, keep Pavelec, Hedberg.
3. Trade Hedberg, keep Pavelec, Lehtonen.

I can sit here for another week or so and come up with totally valid theories about what will happen. I must say, this is completely and totally out of left field. At least to me. Maybe some of you knew and didn't share. But either way, we have a glut of goalies who all want to play up.

Hey remember that season we had 13 goalies? Yeahhhh, good times.

Here are my theories on those three choices:

1. Pony can walk, and likely get signed with another team in need of an upcoming goalie (Jersey maybe), or he can walk even further, and sign with the KHL. Atlanta would have to release him from his contract for that, especially given the pissing contest Radulov stirred up between the NHL and KHL. But either way, Pony got options. But would this happen? Would Waddell lose face, publicly being called out for lying (hah, it's about time someone did it in the media) and get the reputation of a GM who feeds lines to his players? Would Atlanta Spirit let it happen?

2. Off the top of my head, I can think of 5 other teams in the NHL where Kari would be a good fit, and he would have the required defencive corps in front of him to enable him to properly do his job, and not have to stop every day thing sent his way. This is a guy who loves the game of hockey. He has said in the past that if it came down to it, he'd play for less money, just so he could keep playing. And he's totally got the talent and the ability to be one of the top netminders in the NHL. The damage done to him was done by this club, and to be frank, keeping Pavelec in the same situation risks damaging him similiarly, despite Hartley being gone now. Additionally, what would the spin be on trading Kari, and what could be gotten in return? Some really great D? An all-star center for Ilya? The sky's the limit. As for the spin, he's been being groomed for his career as an NHL player, and now he's ready, what do have to offer us?  Dunno if Atlanta would want to let go of one of their only commonly acknowledged stars.

3. Which leaves Moose being traded. If I were the GM, and I love Moose a whole whole lot, but you can't make business decisions with your heart, can you? I would trade Moose if I had D-Wad's job. I would send him to a team that actually has a shot at winning the Cup, because hello, he's getting older. And there are a SHITLOAD of teams out there in desperate need of a GOOD backup. Plus the experience and leadership he brings to a team are invaluable. Would it be a crushing loss to our organisation? Yes. Which is why it probably won't happen. But it would also be a great move for Moose.

So let's say we went with option 3 and traded Moose. The next problem is, is Kari ready to mentor a younger goalie? Johan was brought in to mentor Kari specifically. And while I've not actually seen him play yet this season (DAMN IT SPORTSOUTH! STOP SHOWING FISHING!), I'm reading the event summaries and game summaries, and looking at the shot charts, and I get it. Someone just put some new garnish on it, blew off the dust, and served up the same old shit as last year. So while Kari's under the pressure of maintaining a sv% above .900, if nothing else, oh and win a game if the team could score once in a while (We love you Crusher and Army!), is that really the best time for him to be helping another goalie adjust to the NHL? Nothing against Kari at all, or Pony, but ..... perhaps....


Buy out Moose's contract next season.
Give him a big fat salary to be the goalie coach from next season out
Keep Pony in the AHL this season, called up when necessary
Pony and Kari play 41/41 next season

Huh! HUH! Is that a good idea or what! I thnk it is!

So you know what we do?

We wait.

And when D-Wad invariably makes the wrong choice, and it invariably goes horribly awry, then, and only then, shall we call for his impeachment.

Who's with me?!

1 comment:

Mortimer Peacock said...

Just trade Pavelec. Ottawa, Detroit, Philly, etc. would happily take him and give us something.