HFBoards

HFBoards (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/index.php)
-   Philadelphia Flyers (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/forumdisplay.php?f=21)
-   -   Niittymaki, Ouellet, and a Look Back at The Oates Trade (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=50367)

Rails 02-07-2004 03:40 PM

Niittymaki, Ouellet, and a Look Back at The Oates Trade
 
On March 19, 2002 Center Adam Oates was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for Maxime Ouellet, and the Flyers first, second, and third round picks in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Immediatley, this trade was flamed as an extreme overpay with the Washington Capitals taking advantage of the injuries to Jeremy Roenick and Keith Primeau, the Flyers' top two centers at the time. The Flyers had traded away the best goaltending prospect in the organization and three of their top picks in the 2002 Draft to Conference rivals, why? Other than injuries, the organization had said something about the emergence of a new goalie prospect. Many of us wondered who and how. Some of us knew who, but still didn't understand the move, we mortgaged the future for an old rental to bolster the roster for a deep playoff drive. The team got creamed in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in five games by the Ottawa Senators.

Washington ended up trading the first round pick to Dallas who drafted Martin Wagner with the pick while Bob Clarke made up for a bad trade by trading Ruslan Fedotenko and two second round picks to Tampa Bay for their first round pick - fourth overall- in the 2002 Draft. That pick became Joni Pitkanen. Washington had the better draft that year, drafting Alexander Semin, Steve Eminger, and Boyd Gordon all in the first round and with the Flyers' other two picks, Maxime Daigneault and Derek Krestanovich.

Since that trade, the goalie situation in Philadelphia has still remained a problem. Brian Boucher was traded for Robert Esche and Michal Handzus in the 2002 Offseason, hoping to end the controversy of having two number one goaltenders in Roman Cechmanek and the already mentioned Boucher. However Esche played just as good as Cechmanek as well, and after a six game series loss to Ottawa in the second round of the 2003 Playoffs, Roman Cechmanek was traded to LA after his inconsistent play in the playoffs. Jeff Hackett was signed and many fans wondered what would have happened if Ouellet had not been traded. Some said he would still be in the minors and our troubles would still be on going, others commented that he would probably be starting or at least backing up the goalie. Ouellet has a 2.67 GAA and a 91.5 Save Percent after playing seven NHL games. Two of those were wins, three were losses -one as a Flyer-, one a tie, and one a no-decision (for the lack of a better term). This season, Ouellet has allowed 14 goals in five games (2-2-1).

This season, Hackett turned heads playing some good games for the Flyers. Then he lost it after a loss to the Devils. Esche played well until he went down with a groin strain. Most of us, desparate to keep Hackett out of the net called for Niittymaki to be played. Hackett kept playing and the Flyers went on a winless skid. Esche came back and snapped a winless skid and it was announced that Hackett was suffering from positional vertigo. Esche played fantastic until he tore (or sprained) a MCL in his knee in the Flyers' two-one loss to South East leaders Tampa Bay. I for one panicked, claiming that Carter or Richards would be traded. Few believed that Clarke would stand pat and play both AHL goaltenders in an NHL game. But Niittymaki was played, and he has done fantastic posting two wins in two back-to-back NHL games with a 1.00 GAA and 95.1 Save Percentage. These two wins, coupled with a loss by New Jersey to Vancouver gave the Flyers a five point lead on the Devils heading into Tuesday night's match up with the division rivals. The back-to-back wins also propelled the Flyers back into the Conference lead after the Toronto Maple Leafs lost one of their two final games before the All-Star break.

Despite the fact that Niittymaki's first two NHL games were against two of the weaker teams in the league, he faced some premier players in Robert Lang (second in point totals league-wide), Anson Carter, Peter Bondra, Ilya Kovalchuk (fourth in point totals league-wide), and last year's All Star Game MVP Dany Heatley who was playing his fifth game of the season after sitting out most of the season after the fatal automobile accident that took the life of Dan Snyder and injured the Thrasher's star player. With these two games, the fans have seen what Flyer management saw two years ago, the emergence of a new goalie prospect.

Is he the answer? Not at the moment, but we have a new hope in the everlong question of "Who will the next goalie for the Flyers be?"

The real test for Antero "Frank" Niittymaki hopefully comes on Tuesday, February 10, 2004 when the Philadelphia Flyers host the Division Rival New Jersey Devils, which is also the questionable return of Jeff Hackett.

The two game appearance by Niittymaki does not signal the who won the Oates deal, but it lessens (may even eliminates) the severity of the loss of Ouellet in that overpayment.

EDIT: Do not tell me it has only been two games by Niittymaki. I know that two games does not spell out a career, but it does give us hope that maybe our search for a goalie is over.

GKJ 02-07-2004 03:55 PM

When Ouellet was on the Phantoms, he was struggling. I think around the mid-season point, Clarke had decided that Ouellet was in fact, expendable. But prior to coming over to NA, Niittymaki had not been that great either. He lost his starting job to Fredrik Norrena for TPS, and the team went out in the semifinals. Nittymaki had played 2 playoff games winning both (game 1 of the first round, and the bronze medal game). Niittymaki had won the SM-liiga championship the year before, as the starter, without competition. Ouellet had been a good, blue chip prospect, but he was never a winner, and he wasn't necessarily winning in the AHL. The Flyers probably could have done better for themselves had they had Niittymaki and Ouellet on the same team in the AHL. Ouellet since picked up his play when he got traded to Washington, and played for a bad Portland Pirate team in the AHL.

Niittymaki, however, if you want to use the word, 'emerged' long before the Flyers were getting ready to trade Ouellet.

Rails 02-07-2004 04:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by go kim johnsson

Niittymaki, however, if you want to use the word, 'emerged' long before the Flyers were getting ready to trade Ouellet.

Obviously, or Clarke wouldn't have drafted him. I should have said displaced Ouellet on the depth chart or something similar to that rather than emerged.

GKJ 02-07-2004 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harper
Obviously, or Clarke wouldn't have drafted him. I should have said displaced Ouellet on the depth chart or something similar to that rather than emerged.

I wouldn't say displaced either. Ouellet is still a better prospect than Niittymaki, and was when we traded him.


If Washington was to trade him again, maybe there will be question as to how much of a blue chip he really is. Let's not forget, and this will go along your point. When Washington made the trade for Ouellet, they had Charpentier in the system, they had Rad Stanta, and they use one of the picks we gave them to pick Maxime Daigneault. They have a lot of talent, and sooner or later (I would say sooner) someone is going to get traded, and my guess would be Ouellet based on what Stanta (played for national teams, regardless of being Slovakia, where goalies are thin) and Charpenier (legit NHL backup before getting hurt) have proven, and they still have a pretty good prospect in Daigneault. Trading Kolzig changes everything, but the Caps will have to pick one guy and go with him.

FlyersGuy69 02-07-2004 07:13 PM

first let me say good job on the post Harper!

now, that trade still looks just as bad to me even today because of the fact that Ouellet had alot of value then/now even if he wasn't playing as well as Clarke liked or was expendable because of Niittymaki. when you add to that the Flyers gave up the top 3 picks in the 02 draft it becomes horrendous.

I would have never even considered trading Ouellet or a 1st rounder straight up for Oates. even though Oates was still a very effective player, he was a UFA who the Caps had no intention of resiging. so to get such a return for a playoff rental was astonishing to me.

to me, this was by far Clarke's worst trade of alltime and there is just noway of justifying it.

GKJ 02-07-2004 09:23 PM

imagine trading fedotenko, 2 2nd round picks and end up with 2 first round picks 2 years in a row, or possibly moving up. Clarke would have scored big time in that draft.

easton122 02-08-2004 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by go kim johnsson
imagine trading fedotenko, 2 2nd round picks and end up with 2 first round picks 2 years in a row, or possibly moving up. Clarke would have scored big time in that draft.

You can't say the Flyers would have traded for Pitkanen if we wouldn't have traded for Oates. The Flyers lost a big prospect in Ouellet so to appease the fans he traded for a future star prospect. The question should be who would you rather have Pitkanen or Ouellet? I for one would rather have Pitkanen because Nittymaki isn't much of a worse prospect than Ouellet.

GKJ 02-08-2004 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by easton122
You can't say the Flyers would have traded for Pitkanen if we wouldn't have traded for Oates. The Flyers lost a big prospect in Ouellet so to appease the fans he traded for a future star prospect. The question should be who would you rather have Pitkanen or Ouellet? I for one would rather have Pitkanen because Nittymaki isn't much of a worse prospect than Ouellet.

i could say that because Tampa was still trading that pick. I'd rather have Pitkanen, but say what if Clarke still moved up and didn't trade his first to do it.

They could have gotten someone else like Steen, Vagner or Bergenheim.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:54 PM.

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com, A property of CraveOnline, a division of AtomicOnline LLC ©2009 CraveOnline Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.