Gagne to Habs?
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07-13-2010, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Originally Posted by
On another note, this should serve as a warning to players and teams that just running out and signing the biggest offer/player isn't always good business. Chicago had Khabby when they signed Huet. Why did they bother in the first place?
Because Khabbi had sucked that year, Chicago felt they needed top-notch goaltending, and Huet was coming off an awesome season. The plan at the time was to bury or trade Khabibulin. Khabbi then had a strong year, which led the Oilers to foolishly award him a three-year deal.
Which brings to mind all kinds of warnings about evaluating players, especially performers as volatile as goaltenders, on the strength of a single half-season or playoff run. Goaltending can be a huge difference-maker (as the Habs well know) but you have to wonder whether it's worth paying big money because basically any goalie can get hot. I'm also starting to wonder whether team effects on goaltending are accounted to the appropriate level.
Much is made about goaltending, but it's becoming pretty clear that at the NHL level the difference between starters is small, and the ability to detect a good one is iffy. We're already seeing the beginning of a trend where teams decline to spend big money on goaltending, because of a growing feeling that the odds of one goalie going hot is not much different than another's so the money is better spent elsewhere, and there are so few truly elite guys (and one might question whether the money is worth the real difference there is between an OK starter and an elite starter!). I think a future where goalies are viewed much like football kickers -- you need one, ideally a good one, but they're not a big deal -- is not entirely out of the question.
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