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KING 12-20-2003 10:39 PM

Brooks
 
http://nypost.com/sports/4617.htm

John Flyers Fan 12-21-2003 07:16 AM

Months after Bob Clarke ridiculed reports that he had made a pitch for Mike Comrie, the deal was made that added another very good player to the very good Philadelphia roster but did not address the team's singular issue in goal. Comrie's addition, however, makes it likely that the Flyers will use one of their now- excess centers to deal with the problem.

We're told by a source close to the situation that the most likely target will become Nikolai Khabibulin, expendable in Tampa Bay both because of his contract and John Grahame's strong work as backup. And with the Lightning in desperate need of size down the middle, expect Keith Primeau to be the center- piece of a deal for Khabibulin.



Clarke riduculed reports that he would trade Handzus for Comrie, not that he wasn't interested in Comrie.

Tampa needs defense and wingers far more than they need a center. Also they're not trading Khabibulin for Primeau, who will be a UFA when the season ends.

klingsor 12-21-2003 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
Months after Bob Clarke ridiculed reports that he had made a pitch for Mike Comrie, the deal was made that added another very good player to the very good Philadelphia roster but did not address the team's singular issue in goal. Comrie's addition, however, makes it likely that the Flyers will use one of their now- excess centers to deal with the problem.

We're told by a source close to the situation that the most likely target will become Nikolai Khabibulin, expendable in Tampa Bay both because of his contract and John Grahame's strong work as backup. And with the Lightning in desperate need of size down the middle, expect Keith Primeau to be the center- piece of a deal for Khabibulin.



Clarke riduculed reports that he would trade Handzus for Comrie, not that he wasn't interested in Comrie.

Tampa needs defense and wingers far more than they need a center. Also they're not trading Khabibulin for Primeau, who will be a UFA when the season ends.

John, are you confident that Hackett or Esche have what it takes for you guys to get into the finals?

John Flyers Fan 12-21-2003 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by klingsor
John, are you confident that Hackett or Esche have what it takes for you guys to get into the finals?

I would be confident that if we get to the finals, we would win the Cup.

No team in the West scares me. If the playoffs started today, I would expect us to beat all but 2 teams i the NHL (New Jersey & Ottawa)

With Esche in goal I would feel 50-50 playing New Jersey.

Ottawa gives us the most trouble.

In the end come playoff time, a lot will depend on seeding, and health.

At this point I don't see any goalies that are available, that would represent a significant upgrade. Then factoring in what we would have to trade to get them, I would likely pass, unless something just completely fell into our laps.

Laches 12-21-2003 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
I would be confident that if we get to the finals, we would win the Cup.

No team in the West scares me. If the playoffs started today, I would expect us to beat all but 2 teams i the NHL (New Jersey & Ottawa)

With Esche in goal I would feel 50-50 playing New Jersey.

Ottawa gives us the most trouble.

In the end come playoff time, a lot will depend on seeding, and health.

At this point I don't see any goalies that are available, that would represent a significant upgrade. Then factoring in what we would have to trade to get them, I would likely pass, unless something just completely fell into our laps.

---When it comes to the playoffs, everybody should scare you to at least some degree. You can't take anybody lightly at that stage.

As far as goalies go, you're probably right. There may not be anyone out there that's much of an upgrade over what you've got. That could change by the deadline. If certain teams are out of it, they could hold fire sales to save a bit of money.

John Flyers Fan 12-21-2003 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Laches
---When it comes to the playoffs, everybody should scare you to at least some degree. You can't take anybody lightly at that stage.

As far as goalies go, you're probably right. There may not be anyone out there that's much of an upgrade over what you've got. That could change by the deadline. If certain teams are out of it, they could hold fire sales to save a bit of money.

My point wasn't that we beat all the other teams 100% of the time. Just that I would be confident that we are the better team and we will win the series. Obviously any team could lose to any other team.


Even if their are a ton of goalies on the market, tell me other than Brodeur, which goalies out there are big time proven playoff performers ???

Right now if someone asked me to name the top 5 goalies in the NHL, it would be very difficult.

After Brodeur, there are a lot of very very similar goalies.

Potter 12-21-2003 09:50 AM

[QUOTE=

After Brodeur, there are a lot of very very similar goalies.[/QUOTE]

good point

Laches 12-21-2003 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
My point wasn't that we beat all the other teams 100% of the time. Just that I would be confident that we are the better team and we will win the series. Obviously any team could lose to any other team.


Even if their are a ton of goalies on the market, tell me other than Brodeur, which goalies out there are big time proven playoff performers ???

Right now if someone asked me to name the top 5 goalies in the NHL, it would be very difficult.

After Brodeur, there are a lot of very very similar goalies.

---Yeah, the goaltending landscape has changed quite a bit, hasn't it? Not too long ago you had a few guys that were clearly the elite goalies, and they were playing for the league's elite teams. (Roy in Colorado, Belfour in Dallas, Brodeur in Jersey, Hasek in Detroit, etc.) Now, you've got a lot of guys who emerging as very good goalies, but play for bad-to-mediorce teams and thus don't get much exposure or opportunity to prove themselves in big games. Luongo and Vokoun are two that jump to mind. But, neither of those two will be available anyway.

In terms of who could be available later on, it's hard to say whether they'd be much of an upgrade. The ones most likely to be available are veterans on non-playoff bound teams, such as Burke, Kolzig, Dunham and Thibault. I don't know that I'd be terribly interested in any of them if I were in Clarke's shoes. Out here in Minnesota, I hear rumors from time to time that the Wild will trade one of it's goalies, both of whom I think are excellent. I'm not certain I'd bite on that if I were Clarke, it would depend on how guys were playing at the deadline and some other things, but that might be the most intriguing possibility I can think of from the Flyers perspective.

John Flyers Fan 12-21-2003 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Laches
In terms of who could be available later on, it's hard to say whether they'd be much of an upgrade. The ones most likely to be available are veterans on non-playoff bound teams, such as Burke, Kolzig, Dunham and Thibault. I don't know that I'd be terribly interested in any of them if I were in Clarke's shoes.

Exactly.

Burke - we tried him once, and he was the worst playoff goalie we've had in over a decade. Hasn't won a playoff series since 88.

Kolzig - makes big money, Caps will looke for a nice return. Playoff history - Cup Finals in 98, in the 5 years since he was won just 3 playoff games.

Dunham - never played in the playoffs.

Thibault- never won a playoff series, and played in just 3 games in over the last 5 years.


None of the goalies out there represent a big upgrade over Robert Esche.

Kodiak 12-21-2003 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
Exactly.

Burke - we tried him once, and he was the worst playoff goalie we've had in over a decade. Hasn't won a playoff series since 88.

Kolzig - makes big money, Caps will looke for a nice return. Playoff history - Cup Finals in 98, in the 5 years since he was won just 3 playoff games.

Dunham - never played in the playoffs.

Thibault- never won a playoff series, and played in just 3 games in over the last 5 years.


None of the goalies out there represent a big upgrade over Robert Esche.

I wouldn't agree with you at all. I think the Flyers forwards and d-men are as good as any in league top to bottom, but goaltending has always been the Achilles heel. And Clarke never wants to address the issue fully. He'll go the bargain in an aging Hextall, or an aging Beezer, or an unproven Cechmanek instead of spending some real money on the most important position in the sport. The Flyers could go deep (and you have no idea how much I'd hate to see that while I'm living in Philly), but neither Esche nor Hackett are even considered bonafide #1 goalies by most of the league. How are they going to lead a team to the Cup?

If I were in Clarke's shoes, there'd be no way I'd have Hackett and Esche as my goalies after the trade deadline. I'd be looking at getting Cujo at a reduced price for a draft pick (who is IMO, the most proven playoff goalie out there, but people have short memories), or Kolzig (another I would list as a proven playoff performer), or Khabibulin if he really becomes available (I'd start by offering Handzus and working from there). If the last 6 years or so have taught you anything, it's that goaltending is not an area that you can take a gamble in and expect to go deep in the playoffs. It makes all the difference in the world.

John Flyers Fan 12-21-2003 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kodiak
I wouldn't agree with you at all. I think the Flyers forwards and d-men are as good as any in league top to bottom, but goaltending has always been the Achilles heel. And Clarke never wants to address the issue fully. He'll go the bargain in an aging Hextall, or an aging Beezer, or an unproven Cechmanek instead of spending some real money on the most important position in the sport. The Flyers could go deep (and you have no idea how much I'd hate to see that while I'm living in Philly), but neither Esche nor Hackett are even considered bonafide #1 goalies by most of the league. How are they going to lead a team to the Cup?

If I were in Clarke's shoes, there'd be no way I'd have Hackett and Esche as my goalies after the trade deadline. I'd be looking at getting Cujo at a reduced price for a draft pick (who is IMO, the most proven playoff goalie out there, but people have short memories), or Kolzig (another I would list as a proven playoff performer), or Khabibulin if he really becomes available (I'd start by offering Handzus and working from there). If the last 6 years or so have taught you anything, it's that goaltending is not an area that you can take a gamble in and expect to go deep in the playoffs. It makes all the difference in the world.

If their were goalies out there that I thought were big upgrades, then I would have no prblems making a trade for a big time goalie.

CuJo and Kolzig do nothing for me.

I don't think Khabibulin will be available, and if he is, he'll command a bigger price than I think he's worth.

If I could go after one guy, it would be Theodore, but he's not going to be available.

Laches 12-21-2003 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
If their were goalies out there that I thought were big upgrades, then I would have no prblems making a trade for a big time goalie.

CuJo and Kolzig do nothing for me.

I don't think Khabibulin will be available, and if he is, he'll command a bigger price than I think he's worth.

If I could go after one guy, it would be Theodore, but he's not going to be available.

---I wouldn't worry about having to give up the farm for a goalie. Goalies rarely fetch much value in a trade. Sather and Milbury are the only two GM's dumb enough to give up anything of significant value for a goalie.

John Flyers Fan 12-21-2003 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Laches
---I wouldn't worry about having to give up the farm for a goalie. Goalies rarely fetch much value in a trade. Sather and Milbury are the only two GM's dumb enough to give up anything of significant value for a goalie.

Not just plkayers that have to be given up, but a major factor is how much $$$$$$$$ these goalies make.

Flyers are already $5 million over budget for this year, most of these names mentioned make some rather nice coin.

Kodiak 12-21-2003 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
If their were goalies out there that I thought were big upgrades, then I would have no prblems making a trade for a big time goalie.

CuJo and Kolzig do nothing for me.

I don't think Khabibulin will be available, and if he is, he'll command a bigger price than I think he's worth.

If I could go after one guy, it would be Theodore, but he's not going to be available.

I don't know why you wouldn't want to make a move for Cujo or Kolzig. Both are #1 goalies who have shown that they can raise their level of play when the playoffs roll around. Esche never even struck me as a potential #1 guy and Hackett is, well, Hackett. The Flyers are going nowhere with that tandem in net. I have a big greasy cheesesteak and a 6-pack of Yuengling riding on that with my girlfriend's dad. :)

And I think Clarke could get Snider to okay the salary needed, given the Flyers' great record and their previous playoff unravelings with guys like Hextall, Burke, Vanbiesbrouck, and Cechmanek in net. Combine that with the age of guys like Recchi, Roenick, Desjardins, and Leclair, and you see that this is not a time to cut corners and hope for the best. It'll take at least 5-7 years before the youth is ready to make a run at it, and that's a long time to wait when you're so close right now.

John Flyers Fan 12-21-2003 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kodiak
I don't know why you wouldn't want to make a move for Cujo or Kolzig. Both are #1 goalies who have shown that they can raise their level of play when the playoffs roll around. Esche never even struck me as a potential #1 guy and Hackett is, well, Hackett. The Flyers are going nowhere with that tandem in net. I have a big greasy cheesesteak and a 6-pack of Yuengling riding on that with my girlfriend's dad. :)

CuJo, while not being the reason the Wings lost last year, let in his share of weak goals. He's not playing particularly well this year. He's old, and he will make $8 million next year.

Kolzig had one good playoff year. In the 5 years since, he's won just 3 playoff games, and it isn't like his team was an underdog in all those series.

Kodiak 12-21-2003 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
CuJo, while not being the reason the Wings lost last year, let in his share of weak goals. He's not playing particularly well this year. He's old, and he will make $8 million next year.

He's been playing better as of late. If there is anyone on that team that hasn't performed this year it's Hasek. His price tag could lead to 3 things in a trade: a reduced price value-wise, cash coming back to pay part of the salary, or Detroit taking on a decent sized salary in return, or some combination of the 3. He's taken Oilers teams that had no business winning anything into first round upsets twice, and he's taken several Leafs teams that had piss poor bluelines deeper than they should have gone.

Quote:

Kolzig had one good playoff year. In the 5 years since, he's won just 3 playoff games, and it isn't like his team was an underdog in all those series.
Actually, Kolzig has played in 3 playoff series since, and won 5 games. That's not a great record, but I think that the Caps do tend to be the underdogs. They get home ice advantage because they wind up taking the division, but more because there were no good teams in the division, and playing all those intradivision games boosts their record and makes them look better than they are. The Caps had no business putting 102 pts in a season in 2000, but they did because Atlanta put up 39 and Carolina put up 54. The Caps have never really put good teams in front of Kolzig, but he still has a career GAA of 2.14 and sv% of .930 in the playoffs.

Potter 12-22-2003 04:11 AM

John you are being way too hard on CuJo... is he your goalie of the future? Hell no. Does he have one or two cup runs in him, hell yes. He's only one year older and take a look at his numbers last year. They were not bad at all. Just because he wasn't an all-star for one year doesn't mean he's finished. But, in your defense, is he the goalie for the Flyers... I don't think so either although the concept isn't totally out of place.

John I do have a question. I've been an Esche fan for a while now, seen him here and there and always played pretty well. Upstate New York guy with some class, and he can play too. What do you think... is he ready to break out of his shell and turn into a decent #1?

(And guys lets not forget unproven playoff guys need a chance at some point to prove themselves *cough* giggy *cough*)

JR#9* 12-22-2003 05:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
[
Clarke riduculed reports that he would trade Handzus for Comrie, not that he wasn't interested in Comrie.

Tampa needs defense and wingers far more than they need a center. Also they're not trading Khabibulin for Primeau, who will be a UFA when the season ends.

That's not true John, I saw where he commented on Comrie's lack of size and said what would he be able to do in the east.I read it just last week.I don't remember the source but I'm sure you and others have seen the comment.

John Flyers Fan 12-22-2003 05:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JR#9
That's not true John, I saw where he commented on Comrie's lack of size and said what would he be able to do in the east.I read it just last week.I don't remember the source but I'm sure you and others have seen the comment.


That comment you saw was only half of the comment, and did not include the question Clarke was asked.

The comment you were referring to, was Clarke responding that he didn't want to trade one of our 2 "big" centerman (Handzus) for a little center (Comrie). Especially when Primeau our only remaining centerman with size will be a UFA at seasons end.


Question: Back in November you said (referring to the Flyers interest in Mike Comrie), ‘we don’t need him right now.' Did you make this deal because you lost a center man (Lapointe) and were scrambling to get another one?

Clarke: “No, not at all. I think at the time you were talking about giving up Michal Handzus. From our standpoint we just weren’t prepared to give up Michal Handzus. We haven’t had any conversations up until three or four days ago with [Oliers General Manager Kevin Lowe]. To get a player as good as Comrie and as good as we feel he’ll be for our team and not have to take anybody off our team, then we had to look at this. We think (Jeff) Woywitka is going to be a terrific defenseman in the NHL, but we have young defensemen. We have [Jim] Vandermeer and [Joni] Pitkanen. We think [Dennis] Seidenberg is ready and we got a couple of other young guys that we believe are going to play. For us to get what we consider a very highly skilled center man for now and for the future, is important.”

Dr Love 12-22-2003 05:22 AM

Both of you are right...

Comrie's agent, Rich Winter, has reportedly said that the Flyers offered center Michal Handzus for the 5-foot-9 Oiler's rights.

"Yeah, right, I want Comrie," Clarke said, shaking his head. Winter "sent me a tape on Comrie. We don't want him. We don't have room for him. We don't need a small centerman. What would we do with him?

"You can't play in the Eastern Conference and our division without some big centers in your lineup. Handzus and [Keith] Primeau are both 6-5. [Jeremy] Roenick isn't small, either. Lapointe is, but he is a fireplug.

"I like our centers. I'm not going to mess around with them just to get a smaller player."


He was clearly responding to a Comrie for Handzus deal, but he also clearly talked about size.

Bottom of the article.... http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/spo...ey/7239139.htm


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