September 18, 2014

steve laidlaw

2014-09-18

Harding's broken foot, Bryzgalov trying out, Johansen's contract talks and more…

 

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Fun news! I'll be appearing on the Illegal Curve show on TSN Radio Winnipeg this Saturday at 11:00 am Central. Be sure to check that out if possible.

 

I love doing radio/podcast spots. We really should do more of that here at DobberHockey.

 

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It appears that Josh Harding will miss MONTHS with a broken foot. I feel bad saying it, but I'm just waiting for the day we hear that Harding's career is done. It's approaching fast.

 

Harding always had talent but between his MS treatments and the constant injuries he's never been able to get a consistent foothold in this league. One of the more star-crossed NHL careers I can think of.

 

The Wild acted quickly bringing Ilya Bryzgalov in on a tryout deal. I'm not sure they really want to sign Bryzgalov here. Niklas Backstrom (another band-aid boy) is looking like his goose is cooked and Bryzgalov isn't much better. This would be the worst goalie tandem in the league, which is impressive considering the oversaturation of goalie talent league-wide.

 

I suspect the real plan here is to put pressure on Darcy Kuemper to agree to the two-way deal they've been offering him. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why they are playing these games with the best goaltender in their system but they are doing it. It's especially baffling that they haven't been able to come to an agreement now that Harding is hurt.

 

Maybe the Wild know something we don't. Maybe Kuemper isn't that reliable.

 

I'll concede that goaltending is a largely fungible position in the NHL. I'd wager that at any given time there are 100 goalies on the planet who could handle a stretch as a starting goalie in the NHL and not be a serious detriment to the team in front of him. Unfortunately for Minnesota, they have approximately one of those in their system (that we know about) and that's Kuemper. (I'd include Harding if he wasn't so injury prone.)

 

Kuemper, for his own part has been threatening to jump to the KHL. I don't see it. Even with the threat of Bryzgalov, Kuemper should have enough leverage to get his one-way deal now.

 

I'd recommend pitching the Kuemper owner in your league to see if there's any lingering doubt. He'd be a nice pick up if the price is right.

 

I'd also take a flyer on Bryzgalov in deep leagues. And by deep, I mean leagues where every starter is owned and some of the better backups too. Crazier things have happened.

 

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Dobber talked about the Ryan Johansen contract situation yesterday but things got even crazier today when Blue Jackets President John Davidson took to the media to disclose the specific numbers they'd offered Johansen.

 

I'm not a big fan of this tactic but it's a proven winner. Time and time again fans have been proven to side with teams when contract negotiations get heated because in the end these players are playing kids games that we all love and would play for free if we could. But hockey is big business so it's not that simple.

 

I don't begrudge players for trying to extract as much money as they can in contract talks. That's their labour negotiated right. Something that they've endured three lockouts by the owners to maintain. Don't think for a second that if the owners could they'd go back to dark ages where players made minimal wages and were treated like meat.

 

These are jobs, nay careers for these players. It's what they've built their whole lives around and made tons of sacrifices to achieve. I'm so over chastising players f