Flyers Terminate Hovinen's Contract (claimed by Edmonton Oilers, per D. Dreger)
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01-24-2013, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Helsinki, Finland
It took a while for him to break through as a starter in Finland, so he's had his fill of being pushed to the back of the queue. He came to North America to play in the AHL and then challenge for a spot in the NHL. The ECHL is a low-level league, so anything but a conditioning assignment there is a slap in the face to most Euro goalies. Teams in the ECHL roll only three lines and the systems are below par. Hovinen expected to move up in his career, but he actually moved down as the ECHL is skill wise on level with Mestis (second tier of Finnish hockey) and tactically less sophisticated. What's worse, he wasn't even playing that much.
You have to wonder what the Flyers management thought it was doing. When you sign a Euro goalie, the options are NHL, AHL, or send the goalie back to Europe. Sending a guy to be a backup in the ECHL is just stupid. They treated him like he was a kid fresh out of the juniors. I can't say I'm surprised though. I never understood why Hovinen signed for the Flyers to begin with. It must've been his only NHL offer or his agent doesn't have his finger on the pulse. The Flyers is one of the very last organizations I'd advise my European AHL-level goalie to sign for. Don't get me wrong, the Flyers in itself is a great NHL club, but the way the hockey ops are run, it's ruthless and volatile. When it comes to goalies, there just doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason in how goalies are used and developed in the organization.
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