Niitymaki vs. Esche
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02-26-2006, 09:01 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Originally Posted by
And who would we replace Esche with? I would like to see him moved to address other needs but Frank needs help in the net. Niitty is capable of playing some 50 games a year which leaves us with a good amount of games where we would need a decent backup, and it's not like Burke is on the market again.
I didn't write that they should move Esche. I didn't mention either goaltender specifically.
They don't need a world-beater to play backup. They need someone who can perform decently and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Right now, they have two guys who are basically starters. That's fine and I think the best thing for them this season. I believe it's something they can exploit this summer if they translate it into a move up in the first round of the draft or acquisition of a good, cheap, young positional player in return. The advantage of turning it into a good draft pick is that it becomes something that they're not paying anything for (draft pick), or something that they'd control at a cheap salary for at least three years (a first-year player stepping right into the lineup).
It's a strong position for them, and if I were GM, it's one I would look at translating into something else by this summer. It's something I would keep an open mind about.
My opinion is that Niittymaki's play in the Olympics doesn't change a whole lot in Philadelphia for Hitchcock. It might make Clarke's decisions easier at the most. It's not as if the organization doesn't know what it has in Frank.
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