The All-Purpose Bryz/Goaltending Thread #7
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01-29-2013, 03:47 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Originally Posted by
I have a feeling, and I could be wrong about this, but I just have a feeling that if the Flyers hung on to Bob and didn't sign Bryz you would still find something to complain about unless Bob turned out to be a legit franchise goalie. If he didn't, then I can envision you calling out Homer for not signing a Bryz or other available goalie and betting it all, so to speak, on a flash in the pan. I really can't imagine you being ok with any decision relating to the goaltending situation. There are too many ways to point out Homer's "bad" moves with the benefit of hindsight that unless he makes the absolute 100% right choice, you would likely still complain.
I'm not looking back with hindsight. I've been saying the Leighton signing is a mistake since it was announced. I was expressing concern and disappointment about Bob getting thrown straight into the NHL instead of the AHL for seasoning from the start; I believe funghoul and I had debates about that. I expressed concern about his ability to make it through a whole season from the start, and then it turned out he couldn't make it. The main thing I didn't expect was the overreaction that led to signing Bryzgalov to a high hit for an absurd length, and abandoning the "develop Bob" option. I really wanted them to work on developing their own goaltenders, so I don't see why I'd fault them for trying. I'm currently pleased we seem to be sticking to Gus, and we have Ghost laying around, for instance. You don't see me wailing about how we should have drafted Hamilton instead, eh?
I wouldn't be calling Homer out for not signing Bryz. It was apparent from the start based on numerous rumors that Bryz wanted a big contract. I was perfectly happy to let someone else give him that, considering his age. I was content to develop our own goalie for once, and if it failed like the others...oh well. I'm done with signing expensive FAs or trading propects and picks to fill every tiny gap in the defense and goal. I don't envision myself criticizing Homer for trying to develop those positions. I envision myself criticizing the development process and scouting if it always goes wrong, but not the choice to do it. Being able to develop well all around and building a strong prospect pool gives your team the best chance for success in the cap era; right now we're really good at finding young forwards, and deficient in finding Dmen and goalies...and it holds us back.
Don't get me wrong, I was not a fan of the Bryz contract from the beginning. I didn't mind him as the goalie, but I thought the length was too much.
Absolutely, agreed. His performance last year was a disturbing, eye-opening, and concerning surprise. Aside from that I expected when we signed him that we'd have good goaltending for a few years....unfortunately, his contract extends well beyond the point where you can expect good goaltending.
But I also wasn't sold on betting everything on Bob, which is my guess how the team felt. Maybe you would have been ok giving him the reigns at that point, or signing another stop-gap and hoping he turns into a #1. But understandably, the team felt that that strategy wouldn't work.
Well, it appears the team could be wrong...yet again. Signing Vokoun for two years to help Bob along wouldn't have been a bad thing. Bob is currently looking better than ever in Columbus, which isn't surprising since we know he's very coachable. Bob had shown almost no reason to panic over him; instead it seems Snider got impatient and it led to an over-reaction. Instead of betting everything on Bob, now we're betting everything on a goalie who's only getting older, with a high cap hit we're stuck with for ages unless we buy him out...then we're really SOL, since we have nobody in line behind him. The "Vokoun/develop Bob" route would've been just as valid and of roughly equal overall risk as the "sign Bryz forever" route...except it had better potential future upside.
So they went with the best goalie available. Bob became expendable due to the fact Bryz was taking the #1 job for the foreseeable future. It was unlikely that Bob would ever be the starter here from that point on. You can say he painted himself into a corner and frame it that way to make it seem like a bad move, but in the end it was a GM trying to sign a franchise goalie with a proven track record instead of putting his faith the first 50 games of an unproven 22 year old. I don't really see too many GMs making the opposite choice (maybe a different contract term, but it still would lead to the same result of Bob being dealt). Once again I could just as easily see you ripping Homer for missing out on Bryz and going with Bob if Bryz had a better year last year elsewhere and Bob made out the way he did.
As mentioned, I preferred the Vokoun/Bob route. I wanted to avoid overpaying Bryz. Again, why would I suddenly do a complete 180? On top of that, Vokoun outperformed Bryz on a team worse than ours last year...hard to say I'd have sufficient reason to complain about not signing Bryz, since we'd have had a solid enough goalie AND a young guy for the future...which was exactly what I wanted Homer to do. Why would I complain about him doing what I thought was best overall?
You can say he's unproven, but he showed an incredible amount of potential. It's not like Bob is 26/27 and at his physical peak. He still has a lot of upside, but he does still need a good amount of development...aside from season-long stamina (which should come in time), he's shown significant improvement each year so far, so it's not like developing him should have been considered hopeless.
Instead, we're going with someone who, realistically speaking, has maybe 3 or 4 more good seasons in him before he begins declining...unless he's one of those rare goalies.
As far as long-term plans go, the Bryz signing is not a good one. Especially since, if others are to be believed, Bryz completely collapses if any prospect with potential is on the team with him.
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