Jason LaBarbera's future
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05-28-2004, 12:44 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Brooklyn, of course
Originally Posted by
maybe you should read my entire post before replying. first off i said we should sign a guy like cloutier to split time as the starter with blackie if he is healthy and earns the job in camp. I never said we should just give blackie a spot, however he is ahead of schedule, he is on the ice now working on positioning and strength, so he could be ready to go at the start of camp, and whose to say he isnt NHl ready? if he wasnt overused we wouldnt even be having this debate, he would be a bonafide nhl goalie, the kid was excellent until he was overplayed, period, thats it
for all your complaints as for signing a veteran goalie, you dont seem to suggest we should give a kid a chance to play at the nhl level, you say there is "no reason to rush anyone." so what is it? we can't rebuild and have blackie here, giving a kid valuable time and experience, but none of our kids are good enough according to you, but you dont want another vet here either? well it cant go both ways
as for complaing about cutting dunham... who cares? is it your money? is your last name dolan? im tired of hearing complaints about spending money to GET RID of a player who just can't cut it here. he is not the answer, he is incosistent, unreliable, gives up way to many rebounds, loses focus easily and gives up soft goals all the time. he is not needed. when a cap is installed if we take some sort of loss so be it, but dunham is not even good enough to be a stop-gap at this point and he needs to go
so if blackie plays well in camp he gets to start the season at the nhl level with whoever is brought in, if labarbera plays well then he does, same goes for valiquette
we are trying to rebuild so we may as well give the kids a chance at the pros, if blackie is getting beat up and can't hack it then obviously we can send him down, but then again if we have lundqvist down there learning the american style of hockey, how much time will blackie get in the ahl?
I saw the same report on Blackburn and I don't recall hearing the words "ahead of schedule". I did hear that he is progressing nicely, that he is skating with pads to work on gettings his legs back into shape and that he is just beginning to start some light lifting. And regardless of how ready he'll be to start competing for a job in training camp, I completely disagree with you that he has shown he is NHL ready. He's not yet ready to make an impact at the NHL level and he hasn't made real solid improvments in the two years he's been the backup. He's not ready to be the starter (and that's making the huge assumption that he's completely physically healthy) and he won't get any better as the backup. He needs some time in Hartford to not only get his game back, but move it up to the next level.
As for not reading your post properly: I thought that you were suggesting two different possibilities:
"id like to see all of these guys compete in camp
lundqvist is the one player who needs to be in hartford to get experience
dunham id cut lose and take the loss
that leaves blackie, valiquette, labarbera and possibly mclennan or another vet we bring in to fight it out, which sounds good to me
the best two stay with the club, if labarbera loses out, ill trade him to another team where he may get a shot, but the way i see it, if blackie is so ahead of schedule and he continues to progress, id like to get cloutier and have clouts and blackie split time here, while lundqvist logs tons of minutes in hartford with valiquette as the backup"
One, that you wanted Lundqvist in Hartford and Blackburn, LaBarbera, Valiquette and "possibly" McLennan or some other vet to fight it out or two that you wanted to get Cloutier (and how much is that going to cost in young talent--if he's even available) and have Blackburn as the backup. As far as I'm concerned, none of the goalies you mention has any chance of even being an effective backup next season (Blackburn obviously I don't see for different reasons), much less a starter.
And yes, it is my money--or at least has been up until now as I may not renew. It doesn't make sense to make a lateral move and pay 2/3 of Dunham's salary as well for the "privilege" of watching whomever in goal get shelled on a nightly basis. I really don't think it matters who plays goal next year--the Rangers are going to suck, that's part of rebuilding too--so it might as well be Dunham. I don't think anyone one else in the organization is capable of starting at the NHL level and I don't see Salo as any better.
Most importantly, I want to see prospects put in a position to succeed. I don't think that Blackburn or Lundqvist will benefit from being rushed. I am willing to wait for them to be ready to take the next step and if that means releasing some veteran in the middle of the season to make room or even waiting the whole season and watching some veteran flounder in net. I'd rather assume that the kids are not ready and be pleasantly surprised mid-season than rely on them to carry any of a load they are not yet ready to handle.
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