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01-13-2013, 02:33 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Three young goalies asserted themselves as their teams' "goalies of the future", and two of them came out nowhere.
Jocelyn Thibault was still backing up Stephane Fiset in Quebec but he was awesome. 12-2-2 in the regular season, 0.917 sv%, 2.34 GAA. Neither he nor Fiset looked good in the playoffs but that team collapsed; it wasn't entirely their fault. They looked
good going forward, especially Thibault and that Swedish kid they got from Philly as part of the deal for Eric Lindros...
Blaine Lacher was a stand-out in the NCAA, winning the national championship in 1994 playing for Lake Superior State. He was 24, never drafted, and looked poised to turn pro. The Bruins bought out Jon Casey's contract in June of '94 and were hoping to come to terms on a new one for less money. Casey balked and walked, signing in St. Louis instead. Lacher signed with the Bruins as a free agent soon after winning the NCAA championship, the idea being he'd compete with the other Bruins goalies for a backup role and eventually they'd find another vet to be the starter. By the time the lockout ended they still didn't have another vet signed so they went with Lacher, who had a pretty good season. It looked like the Bruins had very easily, very quickly solved their goaltending problems. They lost in the playoffs to the eventual champion Devils, but Lacher looked pretty sharp for most of it. Their problem was offense; the Devils shut the Bruins out in three out of five games, including games one and two. Tough to come back after that.
The other young phenom goalie was Washington's Jim Carey. He was also a product of the NCAA (Wisconsin), although he had been scouted pretty highly and was selected 32nd overall by the Capitals in '92. Still, the Capitals had three good young goalies in Carey, Olaf Kolzig and Byron Dafoe, and Kolzig and Dafoe had seen some playing time behind former starter Don Beaupre; Carey had not. Beaupre was shipped out just before the season began so Dafoe, Kolzig and Carey would compete for the number one job. Carey won it handily. He was the AHL rookie of the year and goalie of the year that year, and after the NHL season started in January he went 18-6-3 with a .913 sv% and 2.13 GAA. The only guy who was better that year was Hasek.
But he looked a little shaky in the playoffs (although so too did Kolzig in relief).
The next year Thibault was traded to Montreal as part of the deal for Patrick Roy. He never reached the level he was expected to in Montreal (who would, being asked to replace Roy?) but went on to have a decent journeyman career.
Blaine Lacher stank up the joint in Boston. He was demoted to Providence by November of '95, and eventually the Bruins obtained Bill Ranford from Edmonton. Lacher never played another game in the NHL again. He signed a minor pro deal with the IHL's Grand Rapids Griffins in 1996 and was even worse there. He retired from pro hockey after the 1996-97 season, only a couple years removed from having been the Bruins go-to goalie.
Carey had a fantastic '95-'96 regular season, leading the league with nine shutouts and winning the Vezina Trophy in only his second season. But as shaky as he was in the playoffs in '95 he was even worse in '96. He stayed with Washington into 1996-97 but was mediocre at best; he was traded to Boston for Bill Ranford. He was even worse in Boston. He was let go in 1998-99 and signed with the Blues, who would give him one last shot. He appeared in four games, did very poorly and chose to retire, not even 25 years old at the time. (He retired almost 14 years ago and he's
only 38 today!)
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