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01-29-2013, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
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?
Fair enough. I must have misread your initial post, glossed over the Leighton issue. Haha.

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.
I was more talking about if Bryz had a good season elsewhere and Bob put up the numbers he did here. I know it is just a hypothetical, but you and I both know that if that went down HFBoards would be ablaze with people saying Homer was stupid not to sign Bryz. That's where my hindsight reference was coming from. Again, that is obviously a hypothetical example.

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.

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.
The team absolutely could have been wrong. I think it is too early to make that call at this point, but again, going the Vokoun/Bob route could have just as easily left us in the same position we were in before last season, searching for a true #1 goalie. The way I look at it is they had a choice between two gambles. Sign the high profile FA Goalie to a monster deal or sign a stop-gap and hope that your young guy develops. One has the risk of tying up cap money that could hurt the team down the line, but the reward of signing a guy that has established he can compete at a high level. The other has the risk of winding up in the same situation with nothing to show for it, but the reward of a potential #1 goalie if the young guy develops and more cap space. I really don't see too many other teams (unless it is a cap-floor type team who can't give out a sizeable contract) going with an unknown 22 year old goalie with 50 or so games under his belt total over a former Vezina candidate. I would be able to get behind your argument a little more if Bob was a highly touted prospect that the organization invested a high draft pick on.

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?
Like I said above, my hindsight example involved Bryz playing well for another team. It also didn't involve Vokoun. I know we had this discussion during that offseason, but IIRC Vokoun specifically said he didn't want to come to Philadelphia.

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.
I am not knocking Bob, but he certainly was (and is) unproven. He played around 50 games in the regular season and put up impressive numbers. He followed that up by an ugly playoff run. While there was clearly something to be excited about, it was far from a guarantee that he would up the same numbers he did the year before. My point is as I stated above. They could stick with Bob and tried to develop him and hope he pans out. Or go with a proven guy. They went with the proven guy.

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.
I hear you on that, and like I said, the contract is too long. The thinking, I would assume, is that the team was close to a championship team. They needed a goalie. They sacrificed some bad years at the back end for a chance to win in the near future. Kind of like the opposite of the Bob scenario where they would be potentially sacrificing some good years in the beginning and hoping for the chance to win at the end.

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.
I said this from the get go (and we argued about it at length, so I don't really wanna get back into it)...if he wins us a Cup I have no problem with the length, $$$, etc. I do think it is too long, I agree with you there, but if he hoists that Cup over his head I won't bat an eyelash.

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