Can Mike Smith be just as good next season or better?
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06-03-2012, 09:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
A backup goalie is an insurance policy. You want someone that can keep you in games when he does play. Every team would love to have a young stud as a backup ready to split at a moments notice, or even to push the starter, but it's less common than desired. Most teams in the NHL are in trouble if their starting goalie goes down for any period of time greater than 4 weeks. Many GM's will try to make a move at that time to improve their goaltending depth. As it is, I am not sure Barbs is a competent backup. He didn't really keep the team in games this year, and he's not a guy that you want to give more games to either to help his consistency.
I'm not 100% certain he's a goner, but it'd be nice if they could upgrade the position. I don't expect a move unless they have a trade lined up for Barbs, as they won't carry 3 goalies and they aren't likely to buy him out. We may be able to trade for a more expensive and reliable backup as part of another trade, otherwise I don't see it happening.
Barbs and Smith actually seem to have a pretty good relationship from the interactions I have seen between the two. I can't help but feel Barbs is one of those guys that might be really good in the locker room. There is just something about his personality, and he was the one that got the team to start handing out that WWE belt to the game's MVP. When you add it all up and count that he's a Maloney guy I doubt he's leaving. I hope he's able to rise to the occasion this year.
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