Sunday, July 05, 2009

Log Jam.

We now have 5 goalies signed (or, well, 4 signed and one with a QO): Kari, Hedberg, Pavelec, Peter Mannino (late of the Isles) and Drew MacIntyre (apparently late of the Preds and the Manitoba Moose).

This puts the team in an interesting position. Waddell has said that if the return is good, he wouldn't hesitate to trade a goaltender. Turple's gone, so we needed a replacement for him with the Wolves. Despite his 3 games of NHL experience (and outstanding goaltending against the Blackhawks), Mannino's numbers and lack of pro experience points to him being the Turple Replacer.

MacIntyre, however, seems to be geared up to be the Wolves' #1. He had better numbers than Pavs in the AHL with the last two seasons, and it would be a waste to have him back Pavelec up. The question now is, what of Pavelec? Is Kari gone, and is Pavs our new #1? Is Hedberg retiring/going back to Sweden, and is Pavs Kari's back up? Or, finally, are we packaging Pavelec with someone for a big trade coming up?

These goalie signings are more than a depth move. Mannino's too good to be sent down to the Gladiators. Something's brewing, and damn it all to hell, we have to wait until next week to really see what it is. I'm not even going to attempt an educated guess, because all three scenarios I mentioned are feasible. Moose is 36, and as much as I adore him for what he brings to the locker room (and the fact that he's pretty constant on the ice), retirement might be in his head. Pavelec was injured part of this season, contributing to poor numbers. But while he was up with Atlanta, his 3-7 record, .880 SV% and 3.61 GAA did not make him look like the goalie of tomorrow. He looked horrible in many of his losses - overwhelmed, even.

Waddell has the neverending issue of Kari Lehtonen and his injury prone self. He has played 1 season where he managed to make it the whole time. He can turn in outstanding performances that are jaw dropping, and then just have a total meltdown on the ice (the first game against Philly comes to mind). There's no consistency there. There's talent - lots, and lots of talent. But just no ability to turn in the same caliber of performance at least most nights.

I absolutely cannot wait until this week and we figure out who the hell our top 2 goaltenders are, if it's even solved by then. We might not even know until after camp.


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