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12-02-2009, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by HockeyinHD View Post
That's factually incorrect.
if it wasn't stated, it was implied, but i'll take your word for it.

I disagree. I think the Wings knew what Howard was, and his time is simply reinforcing that. The people that don't know, namely us, are the ones who are learning more as we go because we are seeing him for, in many cases, the first time.
then why all the Jake McCraken, Nick Pannoni, etc.. guff?
even with a less-than-impressive AHL resume, some of us thought Howard was worth a good look. but when it's suggested that the AHL isn't necessarily an indicator you're always there with an unctuous "can't believe the Wings don't call up Ryan Oulahen to solve our scoring problems... ya never know, he COULD score 50 goals."
we don't want every Joe Schmoe AHLer to get a cup of coffee; we want guys we think [that the Wings think] can huck it to get a legitimate shot to prove themselves.

My position on Howard hasn't changed at all, really. I thought he was an inconsistent AHL goaltender, and that the consistency he could bring to the next level would either doom or save him. He was clearly capable of dominant play at the AHL level, as evidenced by him reaching that level for 1-2 months each AHL season, and that means he's certainly good enough to be at least an NHL backup. Again, Howard's flaw is that for every one of those fantastic months he'd put up 1 or 2 mediocre ones.

I think given the Wings cap situation they couldn't have afforded to keep Conklin, who even the most jaded Howard supporter (so, you ) would agree was the superior option as a backup. But, given the aforementioned cap situation, the Wings either had to bring Howard up or Quincey him. I didn't (and don't) have a problem with that line of thought, much like I didn't (and don't) have a problem with the Wings similar decisions on Hossa, Sammy and Hudler.

Honestly, unless Howard absolutely blows the skirt of every Wings exec up right over their heads I think it's barely 50-50 he's a Wing past his current contract, and only then if he signs for Osgood money, at most. There's too much depth behind him and Larsson's play in GR this year (so far, anyway) has been positively dynamite.
1 - check.
2 - i'm not a jaded supporter, or even necessarily a supporter. i just think he deserved a shot (and by shot i mean more than 2-3 games.) and i'd agree Conks probably would've been a better option at backup, this year. however, i don't think burying/Quinceying Jimmy for one year of respectable backup-to-1B goaltending made any sense.
3 - unless Howie nearly single-handedly leads us on deep playoff runs, Ozzie money is the absolute max i see him getting. i do see him with us for at least 1 more contract if he can slightly improve on the +.900sv% & 2.5gaa he's sporting (anywhere from 1-3 years.) i think it'll be an 'open' competition w/ Larsson when Ozzie's gone. one of those things where Howie will have home-field, and Larsson will have to outplay him by quite a bit to take the job.

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