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04-26-2012, 09:10 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Originally Posted by
How many major european league starting goalies have come over here and not been either an AHL starter or even jump right to the NHL?
I really don't think it would be much of a stretch to see him be the AHL starter at all.
Off the top of my head (so I could very well stand to be corrected), I'm pretty sure that Lundqvist, Gustafsson, Backstrom, Irbe, Varlomov, Karlsson all went right to the NHL.
I'm also pretty sure Kipper, Rinne, Toskala, Lehtonen and Rask were all AHL starters their first year over here.
From our own organization alone: Cechmanek and Bob both went straight to the NHL, and Backlund was the AHL starter when he came. Nitty is the one guy I can think of that was paired with an AHL vet his first year but I'm fairly confident he was a lot younger than Hovinen since it was only a coupe of years after we drafted him that he came.
I'm not saying he's going to struggle. All I'm saying is there's a good chance it will take him some time to adjust to the NA game and if it happens, instead of writing him off as a bust (like I'm sure many will), to just give him some time
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