Jun 232007
 

This season could be the off season of changing goalies. Yesterday we saw two goalies get moved in Toskala and Vokoun but there will be a lot more goalie movement to come. Ottawa is certainly going to move Martin Gerber, even if they get nothing in return and Manny Fernandez has probably played his last game in Minnesota. With the Ducks giving Giguere a big time contract it is difficult to see the Ducks keeping Bryzgalov around as a backup just to see him walk as an unrestricted free agent next summer. With the Panthers acquiring Vokoun, Ed Belfour, who despite his age played relatively well for Florida last year, will be looking for a new home next year as well.

Teams that are potentially looking for a goalie include Los Angeles, Phoenix, St. Louis and and Boston. Phoenix and Los Angeles and possibly St. Louis apparently have an interest in Gerber and Boston seems hot on acquiring Manny Fernandez.

If Boston does acquire Fernandez the Eastern Conference is going to be very interesting next year. Fernandez in Boston should make them much better and definitely a playoff contender. Florida missed the playoffs by just six points and have improved their goaltending significantly with Vokoun and don’t look to lost anyone of significance off their roster and may add more in free agenct. As of right now Toronto has essentially the same team that missed the playoffs by one point with better goaltending and Mark Bell and $5-6 million still to spend. And so far Philadelphia has added Martin Biron (at the trade deadline), Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell and hopes to add one more significant player (Briere or Gomez seem to be the top candidates). Those four non-playoff teams look to have made significant improvements already.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils are in tough to maintain their current rosters. In Buffalo it seems likely that they will lose at least one of Briere or Drury. In New Jersey it seems Scott Gomez is all but gone and Brian Rafalski might prove tougher to re-sign than everyone thought. And in Ottawa, the Senators are desperately looking to dump salary (for sure Gerber, possibly Redden) just to maintain the guys they have as they currently have close to $42 million in salary cap space committed and still have to re-sign or replace Emery, Comrie, Kelly, Preissing, Shubert and Saprykin. It is difficult to see any of the Sabes, Senators or Devils improving next season and more likely than not they all slip a bit.

So what does all that mean? Well it’s still early in the off season but if you thought this years playoff race in the east was a bit crazy stay tuned, next seasons could be even crazier.

  5 Responses to “Musical Goalies and Eastern Conference thoughts…”

  1.  

    ur such a bias writer. I can easily tell ur a leaf fan…writing articles like tml d doesnt suck, ottawa buffa will be worse. BIAS.

  2.  

    AJ – This isn’t a fucking text message. Try to pretend like you made it past the second grade and write English. And DJ makes no bones about being a Leafs fan. I guess statistics are just too far over your head but try to get someone to explain them to you. Maybe they can use crayons and paper.

  3.  

    PPP. Are you sleeping with David or something. lol. Coming to defend him. People like to speculate so damn much about the nhl. SURE, Ottawa and buffalo won’t be as good on paper. But where was everyone on december 25th 2006? When the Senators had a 17-18-1 record. The same team that was 14th in the league, only in front of Phili, and 25th in the league made it to the cup finals. You can predict hockey. You can try, which is fine, but I like to make predictions based on how accurate I think they are going to be, not pointless stats and from my own perspective. Every entitled to their own opinions, but not their own set of facts… text message lol.

  4.  

    “you can’t** predict hockey”. I know I didnt think Ottawa was going to finish 4th in the conference, but there were those who did. But, sure if there’s 20 million people all predicting this team’s going to win the cup, sure 1 of them is going to be right. But I don’t like all these bias articles. Examine trades and stuff thats happened or happening, not things you THINK are going to happen.

  5.  

    AJ – I’ve got to agree with PPP here. The idea that people are entitled to their “own opinions” but not their “own set of facts” is completely idiotic on your part. Facts are facts. Nobody “owns” them. The stats are there for everyone to see, and you can pull various information OUT of the stats to prove many different points, but you aren’t inventing them in your own head.

    The fact that Buffalo suddenly reaped the rewards of drafting skilled forwards in the early rounds after years of mediocrity, and happened to find a great goalie (after having many great goalies by the way) is a bit silly to argue. They drafted Vanek, Roy, Stafford, Kotalik, Afinogenov, and a number of other solid players who amounted to not much prior to the past two seasons. Drury and Briere were both smallish forwards that produced for other squads before heading to Buffalo on the cheap. You can’t argue that because a number of faster smaller players had the new rules dumped in their laps the rest of the league “sucks” at predicting things. Philly has suffered for the exact same rule changes and has been behind the 8 ball trying to catch up.

    It’s all entirely logical and doesn’t have much to do with your horrible English or idiotic opinions. Please dig your head out of your ass.

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