||09-20-2003 12:48 PM
Why is it just assumed that the Avs need a goalie? Does anyone have enough evidence to back that claim? Admittedly, there is not enough evidence to suggest that Aebischer is the answer as a #1 in goal, but that is why you play the games.
For a team like Colorado (read: loaded), they can afford use the regular season (at least the first several months) as a proving ground for D.A. If he performs well, it is, of course, no guarantee that he will do same come the playoffs, but it is a good sign. Likewise, if he fails, the team has ample time to go out and acquire a goalie. (A third scenario: Aebischer plays well, but Lacroix would prefer going with a veteran come springtime. As such, DA would be a more valuable trade asset at that time to include in a package to bring back a more established vet, e.g., Kolzig (if the Caps were floundering), a healthy, performing Burke, etc.
The idea that the Avs have to run out and acquire Joseph plays right into Detroit's hands. And there is no need to. The Wings, I'm willing to bet would be willing to essentially give Joseph away, not because he isn't any good, but because his contract is an anchor around their neck. Yes, they are a rich franchise. But EVERY team has a budget limitation, and no one can afford to carry around $8M backup goalies. Likewise, very few - if any - teams can afford to add that type of $ to their payroll right before the beginning of the season. GM are paid to manage budget as well as personnel.
I see two scenarios unfolding: 1) Joseph will sit on Detroit's bench until late(r) in the season. By that time, thanks to injury, or subpar play by their goalie, another team(s) will have a greater need for goaltending help. Coupled with the fact that a majority of Joseph's salary for this season will be paid off at that point, he will then be easier to move (supply/demand).
2) The Wings try to buy him out of his contract, and he becomes an FA. This thought is based on the assumption that $ is the primary (sole) factor in moving him, moreso than a few others here apparently believe.
At this point, however, I see little incentive for any team to give up any assets and add a huge contract. And that includes Colorado. And those who suggest that they have to make a move for him now are jumping the gun, bigtime.