Flyers Terminate Hovinen's Contract (claimed by Edmonton Oilers, per D. Dreger)
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01-24-2013, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Originally Posted by
That's a shame. I wanted to see him make it. Oh well.
Yeah, same here.
Originally Posted by
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.
I fully agree here and while I think he should've put more into it at least at the beginning of his stint in the ECHL, I can't really blame him for the attitude too much. What we found out, though, is that he doesn't thrive in situations where he's being pushed to the bottom, but unfortunately we'll never know how he'd do if given a more fitting position at least in the AHL. He didn't play well in the preseason, so that might signal him not being good enough, but that was a couple of games and him coming off an injury. It's also true that ideally you'd want all players on the team to be superheroes that battle through adversity, both mental and physical, but on the other hand it's only human to say **** it in situations like this. I know people might jump onto this post, but I wonder how many of them would give it their all if they switched their workplace from one where they've established themselves only to compete with interns or whatever as supposedly the way to ultimately make it to the top of the ladder. It's a silly thing to do, and I think Hovinen should've been kept at least in the AHL and given playing time there. If he doesn't perform, fine, release him, no problem there. But this is just bad handling of prospects, at least in my opinion.
I do wonder, though, whether he had this attitude right from the get-go or was it the fact that he played badly at the beginning to get that resentment and resignation to kick in, and that that then only further deepened his woes.
Another thing I wonder is how other teams deal with prospects on the fringe? Are they also as happy-go-lucky with contracts as Holmgren is?
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