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03-10-2005, 02:04 PM
  #3
Al Alven
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Thanks, FG69! I really appreciate the feedback.

As for your questions…

1.) The best case scenario for Dov is that the NHL comes back next season. That way, Antero Niittymaki will leave the Phantoms and graduate to the Flyers as Robert Esche’s backup. Theoretically, that will open two spots on the Phantoms roster (assuming that Neil Little either doesn’t return or has his role significantly reduced). The Flyers have gone with two young goaltenders on the Phantoms in the past (see Brian Boucher and J-M Pelletier back in the late 90s. So, those two spots would likely go to current juniors Rejean Beauchemin and David Tremblay.

Logic would then dictate that the Flyers could sign collegiates Bernd Bruckler and Grumet-Morris to play for the Titans. But, I find it extremely unlikely that the organization is going to sign four amateur goaltenders in the offseason, regardless of what happens with the lockout situation. You also have to factor in Martin Houle, who may or may not play another season in the QMJHL. Some in the organization are much higher on him than they are on Tremblay.

If the NHL does not return next season, well, things will really be messed up. Niittymaki will stay with the Phantoms, and there will be one less spot available for someone else. Either Bruckler or Grumet-Morris will likely be the odd man out under such a scenario. Of course, the organization could sign one or both of them, and loan them elsewhere. But, that is unlikely.

So, again, best case scenario for Dov is that the NHL returns next season. That way may be given a shot to battle it out in training camp for a spot on the Titans (or, as a longshot, the Phantoms).

2.) According to Dov, the Flyers really haven’t talked to him much about his potential place in the organization. That may mean something, and it may mean nothing. The Flyers generally leave their collegiate prospects alone, and let them develop entirely on their own within the system they play in. So, it’s really not rare for them to keep little contact with their NCAA prospects. At the same time, given the Flyers current logjam of goaltenders in the system, one would think that perhaps some feelers would be sent out to Dov, in an attempt to signal where he might be playing in 2005-06.

Really, though, the Flyers just want the junior and college kids to focus on their respective seasons and playoff tournaments. I’m sure the organization has some sort of solid plan, but the specifics of such are simply unknown at this point.

Any way you look at it, though, this is a good thing. Depth-wise, the Flyers really look to be in good shape at the goaltending position, something you generally could not say in recent years. I wish Dov all the best, and I sincerely hope that the organization finds a place for him next season.

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