Enjoy Lehtonen, I've watched him his whole career in Atlanta. He's a good guy with amazing innate talent, but there are some issues to watch out for. Don't worry about it...just beware.
1.) He has poor vision, and struggles all the time with his contact lenses and is always flushing them out during games. This leads to three things:
1a.) He lets in a lot of shots from the point, or bad rebounds from there.
1b.) He can handle the puck well, but he doesn't get out there soon enough because he can't judge it. This drives defensemen nuts because they don't know how he's going to play it. It's part of the reason why Dmen historically just don't play hard for Kari, but they'll go to war for Hedberg.
1c.) He gets run into by guys crashing the crease because he doesn't have the peripheral vision to jump out of the way. This is how he's been injured so much - it's guys clearing him out, not "conditioning issues".
2.) He used to party too much in Atlanta, but he's gotten that under control and that's no longer an issue. He's also been known to over-eat and he even had "The Hamburglar" briefly on his mask.
3.) He absolutely loved Atlanta, but was mostly a shut-in enjoying his very stylish Finn-influenced home. I assume he'll love Dallas too.
Kari was awesome with the fans and grateful for their support.
4.) I've seen him come to camp way out of shape twice - I thought he was going to hurl on the first day. The last healthy camp he had he was in decent shape.
5.) Even when he's been "healthy" I've seen him come up lame from acrobatic saves and really labor with it.
Kari needs a change of scenery, and Dallas should be a good fit...in general Dallas has been a great organization for guys who need to find a new home. I wish him and The Stars and their fans all the best!
This is all true. Lehtonen is a quirky guy, and likes to be something of a recluse. He's immensely talented, but his ethic and desire have come into question. This is very much a boom-or-bust type move for both clubs. Lehtonen could get his act together, and he could be a top-five goalie in the WC. Or, he could continue to be enigmatic. If you can get his weight under control, you have a good chance at a great goalie. But teaching him how to treat his body the way an NHL goalie should could prove to be a trick.
I don't hate Lehtonen. Never have. But I, like team management and a lot of fans, have lost faith in him as an NHL goalie. Hopefully he lives to his potential and plays very well for the Stars.
This guy will win you games. Much like he did for us. When he was facing 40+ shots a night and still coming on top, You know youve got a goalie. I know have to watch you guys and when he starts. Treat him well Dallas and LT. Chaos.
Not convinced a goalie who hasn't played a single game this year was brought in for a "playoff push". He was brought in because they think he is the future of this franchise.
That too, but there's a reason this was done when it was. There are two more games this season before the Olympic break, which gives Kari plenty of time to find his game in Cedar Park (2 weeks? Is that the limit for AHL conditioning?).
The fact is, Nieuwendyk is a calculating and patient person; I wouldn't simply write this off as a hasty decision. It's possible he just didn't want to miss his opportunity and see him shipped elsewhere, but there wasn't exactly a lot of clamor around the league for Kari's services.
Wow, Joe is a lot dumber than I thought. Not that I mind getting Lehtonen, but should he really have cost IV?
Lehtonen is a proven quality goaltender that has potential to be elite but has some injury issues. IV is an unproven but talented prospect that is having trouble defensively in the AHL on one of the AHL's best defensive teams. I think its a pretty fair trade. Also you never know if IV will ever stick in the NHL with the KHL as a possibility. From what the Thrashers fans have said it sounds like a change of scenery will do Kari a lot of good. I hope like hell it does.
Gave up a goal from the Center Ice stripe in his rehab game in the AHL last week.
the GA you are referring to took a strange one-hop/skip off the ice on its way in... in any event, there's a nice little Finn contingent there in Dallas so Lehtonen should feel right at home.
best of luck to Kari...
I'm a big fan of Lehtonen and welcome him with open arms. That said, I'm not a fan of the deal itself. I just can't believe Nieuwendijk couldn't convince Waddel to take Niskanen instead of Vishnevskey, but maybe there's more to it. There are worries now though. Daley and Niskanen are not progressing as hoped, Robidas isn't young anymore, while Grossman and Fistric are defensive defenseman. Vishnevskey gave us something to look forward to, being that slick puckmover with a high upside. Only Larsen isn't going to cut it.
"Upside" doesn't mean anything, really, in the long run. Vishnevskiy will either be or not be a valuable NHL defensemen one day, and from what I've read about him, the question has always been his ability in his own end. This trade makes me think one of two things - there was a KHL threat if he didn't make the roster next year (and roster room there is fairly tight, especially if they rightfully bring in an upgrade as a FA or trade piece) or that they simply don't like how his game is developing.
They could be wrong. Drafting and development is far from predictable. But I'm willing to give it a shot to see how it plays out and not judge until we know what these players are, not what they might be.
It's not a trade you can rate right now because it really depends on a.) if Lehtonen can get/stay healthy and play and b.) what Vishnevskiy eventually turns in to. I'm not worried about Lehtonen being a bit of an oddball because some goalies just are that way. I am a bit worried about the injury history, but we'll see if that is something that he can put behind him.
I also figure this means there will be more moves in the somewhat near future. I know Nieuwendyk says Turco will play the next two games, but I just don't see them hanging on to three goalies for the long haul, even if that's just the way this season plays out, however it might be.
Don't fall for too much Groupthink. Dallas obtained a borderliine Top 15 Goalie for a quality prospect. Dallas needed a Top 15 Goalie. They don't grow on trees. There are far more young puck-moving defensemen in the world than there are candidates to be a Top 15 Goalie next season.
I meant to post this here, but did so on the Thrasher board.......
Lehtonen is a great high risk high reward pick up for Dallas. He IS a proven no 1, he just has an injury history that could come back to haunt him and his team. What is clear is that he is worth the gamble when you consider Turco's progressive regression over the past years. Sometimes simply making a change makes a huge difference. I think Kari comes in and splits time immediately with Auld and Dallas offload Turco for anything they can get, or even, for as little as they have to give in addition.
A gamble like this warrants giving up a prospect like Vishnevsky in my opinion - if Lehtonen performs anywhere close to his potential and injury free, then this ends up being a monster win for Dallas.
The funny thing in that video was that he still curses in Finnish when he lets one in! "Jumalauta!"
Yeah I can see some of the posters going the usual way...."we gave up our best d-prospect for an injury prone, blind goalie who has rather average numbers" and being all sour about it.
I'll offer a different view. You got the most talented goalie since Dominik Hasek, and with a bit of luck, he might actually turn out just as good in the long run. It happened to Hasek, it happened to Kiprusoff....there are others who have struggled in their first team and then went on to be absolute elite in the league, and if there's one goalie in the league that has the potential to become the next Roy, Hasek or Brodeur...you just got him. Of course potential alone doesn't do much, but that's all your team gave in return also. At least Lehtonen is an above average goalie in the NHL already when he can play. What you gave up for him was not even that.