09 November 2008

Pop goes the weasel?

Posted by the Edmonton Sun and it's been picked up already by a few other papers.

When it comes to goaltenders, the Atlanta Thrashers are discovering that three's a crowd. With a trio of goalies -- Kari Lehtonen, Ondrej Pavelec and Johan Hedberg -- on their roster, the Thrashers have almost as many netminders as victories (five).

Many NHL observers think Atlanta GM Don Waddell wants to deal one of his surplus goaltenders in an attempt to kickstart his floundering team.

Pavelec, 21, is a highly regarded prospect and Hedberg has a strong resume, mostly as a backup. The player most likely to be dealt is the 24-year-old Lehtonen, who is making $3 million (all terms US) this season and will be a restricted free agent at the end of 2008-09.

There are teams with obvious goaltending issues -- the Senators, Kings and Oilers among them -- but they won't be the only teams that look at Lehtonen. Expect the Wings and Flyers to make inquiries as well.

Many around the league believe Lehtonen has plenty of potential. Compared with another goalie who is the subject of trade rumours, 35-year-old Nikolai Khabibulin, Lehtonen's contract is far more cap friendly and he has greater upside. He might fetch the Thrashers a much-needed forward or defenceman in return.
They also forgot to mention Ottawa, NJD, NYI. My personal feeling on this is that, if the team is going to step it up and perform in front of Johan, and step it up and perform in front of Ondrej, then maybe it is better for Kari if he goes to a team that will actually play in front of him. Because this one could be called the Atlanta Sybils for their constant personality changes from game to game. Sometimes they'll play great for him. Sometimes he'll take up to 50 shots with no D. I can't imagine it's very much fun going to work every day and not knowing if your support staff is going to actually support you, or make your life more difficult.

There are a lot of factors involved in this rumour, and a lot of things to consider, especially if you're the GM, and super especially if you're the GM of the interested team. And I know I'm considered Kari Central 'round these parts, but you know what? This is the most you're going to get out of me on this topic until something actually happens. Because you, me, and every other blogger and forum member can prognosticate until the sun sets in the east, but at the end of the day, none of us know Waddell's mind. We've as much chance of figuring out what Waddell would do (WWWD) by playing rochambeau 25 times and declaring a winner. That said - if something is going to happen? Make it happen. Don't drag it out.

Ehkä se on parempi, voit mennä parempi joukkue, joka on hyvin puolustajilla. Tsemmpiä, tapahtuipa mitä tahansa!

No comments: