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04-26-2012, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by PoundCake View Post
Ideally Yzerman would like to get a goalie who can grow with the team's young core but also allow the team to be competitive while the current veterans are still able to play. The goalie that might best fit that role is Schnieder. Unfortunately for the bolts, it looks like he is off the market.

Tokarski and Janus both look pretty damn good in the AHL right now, but I don't think anyone would be comfortable with either being our starting goalie next year. Tik wasn't terrible during his time with the bolts this year, in fact I think he did pretty well. The ideal path for either netminder would be to spend at least one full season as a backup in the NHL before being handed the starting job. Even splitting games with Garon would be to much of a gamble.

Bernier is a good young goalie currently stuck behind an excellent young goalie. His numbers look really good, but he also plays on a pretty defensively responsible team. He really hasn't played enough games to show exactly the kind of goalie he is so he could wind up failing without the support he gets from his current team (Like Brygalov did). Not to mention that the signing of a young top flight goalie means that Tik and Janus are basically done as bolts. There are also concerns that L.A. won't trade him (baring massive overpayment) since both him and Quick are on very nice contracts for another year.

Lindback is about the same situation as Bernier. Young goalie, good numbers, good talent, small sample size, plays behind a good defense. He's also a RFA so Nashville can (and probably will) hold onto him.

A goalie with a bit more NHL experience is Harding. He's put up decent numbers and is an UFA at the end of this year, so the Lightning wouldn't even have to trade anything to get him. He's never been a true starter, but he has a backup in Garon that can help keep the load pretty light.

Vokoun might be the best option, he's proven he can put up good numbers even on bad teams and is set to become an UFA. He's getting old though and would probably want to win a cup (probably why he signed with washington for so little money?). I'm sure Lightning players and fans all feel that we are only a couple pieces away from a cup but would Vokoun feel the same way? We might have to throw a good chunk of money at him to convence him to sign. Vokoun also just had a "pretty severe" groin tear, which could be risky since Garon is also recovering from the same injury.

If we are willing to pay Vokoun 3-4mil for a 1 or 2 year deal, why not just go after Thomas (1yr @ 5mil)? He's a 2 time Vezina winner who seems to thrive in big games. The gamble with Thomas is that he's played most of his NHL career behind a pretty good defensive team. Would he have the same success on the Bolts? His cap hit might also be a slight concern, although for only 1 year Yzerman could prob still fit him.

There is of course Luongo. He's been consistently good for a very long time but his contract is very unattractive for a team with Lecavalier, Stamkos, Malone, and St Louis. He certainly makes the Lightning better, but at what cost?

You can group all the players I listed into 2 categories:

Young players with upside:

Older players who have proven they are good:

Out of the young guys I'd take Harding as he is easily the most proven and wont require the Lightning to trade anything away to get him.

Out of the old guys I'd take Vokoun based on a combination of cost, short term commitment, not needing to trade assets away, and proven to play well without a good team in front of him.

Vokoun or Harding
I can't agree with you more. On the matter with Harding, I can't see any team giving him a long-term contract out of the gate. Just doesn't make sense. My 2 years/2.8 to 3.25 a year could be extended to 3 years. It gives him time to prove himself without us taking a huge hit in the pockets (cheaper than Rolie).At that price range even if he busts, he would still be an reasonable priced back-up. The most I could justify for him would be 3.5-3.7 a year. After that 4-5 could probably net us Thomas or Vokoun for a year. I really would not prefer to give up on Tik and Janus either, couple more years at least one of them is ready to shine. Why bury them with a long term #1 now like Lou, or signing Harding 5-6 years+ without seeing how far they develop in a couple of seasons. Never know we might have a Lou/Schneider situation in a couple of seasons.

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