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The Antti Niemi Appreciation Thread

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Old
04-30-2012, 07:47 PM
  #101
Phu
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Originally Posted by Pinkfloyd View Post
All you brought up was speculation of what might be available for them to do and all of it heavily involved icing a minimum roster that involved taking the risk of going over the cap if injuries occurred or going short-handed like the Flames did at one point. It also assumed that Kopecky was actually tradeable. It also assumed that they were willing to bury someone else as well when they had a backup plan ready to go.

Niemi was the easiest to lose because it wasn't going to cost them anything to let him go. They would have had to take a hit somewhere else to keep him by paying someone to take Kopecky or burying another million or so in salary when they already buried 5.6 mil or whatever with Huet.

The reality was that they could not afford to ice a roster that was capable of withstanding injuries by keeping Niemi nor could they afford to pay another pick like they had earlier to move another salary out to accommodate the salary. Even with a bargain basement tandem in net, they were right up against the cap that year.

At least I know where you got the idea but those speculative articles were incorrect about being able to afford him.
Actually they all were correct, they would have had to make some moves to afford him, but not drastic or unrealistic ones, if the award was in the 2.5-3.0m range, which it was. It was a very risky move in itself to ice the Turco-Crawford tandem, given that the rest of the team pretty much blew up as well, so it wasn't a question of risk. If Niemi was viewed as a long-term solution, they would have made the room for him for that one season until the cap problems eased. Ultimately they did not. We all knew at the time too, that Niemi was a flawed goalie and not anywhere near the largest reason they won the Cup. Largest reason they swept us, perhaps, but he didn't even have to do that well for them to have beaten us.


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04-30-2012, 08:02 PM
  #102
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The Columbus Blue Jackets are ready to move on from Steve Mason. Could Antti Niemi be the answer?

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson said:


“We need a different look in goal. We need better play from that position. I told Steve in our exit interviews (earlier this month) that we’re going to have a different look at that position next year, but that right now, nobody can predict what form that’s going to take.”

Niemi, a former Stanley Cup winner in 2010 with Chicago, posted a 34-22-9 record, 2.42 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in 68 games with the Sharks this season. They are respectable numbers, but Niemi had a tendency to let some bad goals down the stretch and in the playoffs.

A shot he should have stopped early in the Game 2 by Vladimir Sobotka, that Marc-Edouard Vlasic subsequently put into his own net after it trickled through Niemi, may have been the turning point in the five-game first round series loss to St. Louis.

[RELATED: NHL postseason playoff page]

Could Niemi be a potential trade target for Howson?

It’s an interesting question to ponder this offseason, as Niemi has three years remaining on a contract that carries a manageable $3.8 million cap hit. Furthermore, the Sharks are likely to revisit the Rick Nash discussion, after they were unable to last the Blue Jackets’ scorer in February. Niemi could potentially be offered up in order for the Sharks to make that trade happen.

The Sharks don’t have too much depth in their farm system – except at the goaltender position. Thomas Greiss proved he could at least be a viable NHL backup goalie, while Alex Stalock appears to be completely recovered from a serious nerve injury suffered a little more than a year ago. Tyson Sexsmith, an AHL All-Star this season, and Harri Sateri are also still in the organization.

Stalock and Sexsmith will become restricted free agents on July 1, while Sateri has another year left on his deal. Greiss is also signed through next season.

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04-30-2012, 08:04 PM
  #103
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Actually they all were correct, they would have had to make some moves to afford him, but not drastic or unrealistic ones, if the award was in the 2.5-3.0m range, which it was. If Niemi was truly valuable to the team, those moves would have been made, but ultimately he was not. We all knew it at the time too, that Niemi was a flawed goalie and not anywhere near the largest reason they won the Cup. Largest reason they swept us, perhaps, but he didn't even have to do that well for them to have beat us.
No, they were speculating. They don't know what was available in order to keep Niemi. The some moves that you're referring to involves more than just dumping Kopecky. One, the Hawks would have had to pay someone to take Kopecky at that time. Two, they would have needed to make at least one more salary-cutting move to make it work and it would have been someone over the 1 mil mark and not burying some ELC or 850k contract because whoever they dumped would need to be replaced in the lineup with a minimum salary player so the savings aren't really the 1.3 mil from Kopecky or whoever. It's that minus the minimum replacement salary.

Your logic is not sound in this argument. They couldn't practically afford him without pretty much crippling their flexibility throughout the season.

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04-30-2012, 08:26 PM
  #104
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Originally Posted by Pinkfloyd View Post
No, they were speculating. They don't know what was available in order to keep Niemi. The some moves that you're referring to involves more than just dumping Kopecky. One, the Hawks would have had to pay someone to take Kopecky at that time. Two, they would have needed to make at least one more salary-cutting move to make it work and it would have been someone over the 1 mil mark and not burying some ELC or 850k contract because whoever they dumped would need to be replaced in the lineup with a minimum salary player so the savings aren't really the 1.3 mil from Kopecky or whoever. It's that minus the minimum replacement salary.

Your logic is not sound in this argument. They couldn't practically afford him without pretty much crippling their flexibility throughout the season.
I'd like to point out that those are just three of many articles showing the options the Hawks had available to them. There were several other scenarios, including not matching Hjalmarsson's offer sheet or trading a name forward. Niemi could have stayed if he was worth it, he just wasn't; good goalies are worth more than a 2nd pairing defenseman or 2nd line forward.


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04-30-2012, 08:28 PM
  #105
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So this thread was ahead of it's time.


Bravo.

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04-30-2012, 08:31 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by Saucy Dangles View Post
Woah... Are they really suggesting Niemi for Mason or something?

Why...?

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04-30-2012, 08:48 PM
  #107
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I'd like to point out that those are just three of many articles showing the options the Hawks had available to them. There were several other scenarios, including not matching Hjalmarsson's offer sheet or trading a name forward. Niemi could have stayed if he was worth it, he just wasn't; good goalies are worth more than a 2nd pairing defenseman or 2nd line forward.
You can point it out as many times as you want but you're defining his value because they didn't want to trade a name player or a quality young defenseman to keep a goalie that had only backed up for them and did a playoff run.

The comment that good goalies are worth more than a 2nd pairing defenseman or 2nd line forward is a matter of opinion and not a fact. They didn't exactly know what they had with Niemi and all they had to go on was the kid making a Stanley Cup run with them. Stop pretending like he had proven his worth and that he was nothing to them when he wasn't.

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04-30-2012, 08:57 PM
  #108
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Originally Posted by Pinkfloyd View Post
You can point it out as many times as you want but you're defining his value because they didn't want to trade a name player or a quality young defenseman to keep a goalie that had only backed up for them and did a playoff run.

The comment that good goalies are worth more than a 2nd pairing defenseman or 2nd line forward is a matter of opinion and not a fact. They didn't exactly know what they had with Niemi and all they had to go on was the kid making a Stanley Cup run with them. Stop pretending like he had proven his worth and that he was nothing to them when he wasn't.
Hjalmarsson didn't have much more proof-of-worth. The entire core of the team was pretty green in 2010. Bottom line is Niemi had not proven to be worth keeping because he simply wasn't. It's not like we didn't see it then and aren't seeing it now.

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04-30-2012, 09:22 PM
  #109
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Woah... Are they really suggesting Niemi for Mason or something?

Why...?
I would hope they would target something else:
Umberger
Dorsette
32nd overall
Prospects

They are loaded with puck moving defenseman (Johnson, Wisniewski, Tyutin, Nikitin, Golobuef, Savard, and Moore. Possibly adding Ryan Murray as well, though I believe they should take a forward.

Wouldn't mind going after Calvert, that kid can fly.

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04-30-2012, 11:38 PM
  #110
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Originally Posted by juantimer View Post
Hjalmarsson didn't have much more proof-of-worth. The entire core of the team was pretty green in 2010. Bottom line is Niemi had not proven to be worth keeping because he simply wasn't. It's not like we didn't see it then and aren't seeing it now.
Hjalmarsson had two cups of coffee in the two seasons prior to his first full season. To say he had a relatively equal amount of time to show his worth compared to Niemi is being disingenuous.

Your entire argument has been disingenuous because you're making the whole worth thing being something absolute when it wasn't simply about worth on his own. It was about what their options were when it came to being compliant with the cap. And it was easier for them to replace a goalie at a cheaper salary relative to play compared to a top four d-man or a top six forward...especially at the time this whole thing went down.

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05-01-2012, 12:14 AM
  #111
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Originally Posted by matt trick View Post
I would hope they would target something else:
Umberger
Dorsette
32nd overall
Prospects

They are loaded with puck moving defenseman (Johnson, Wisniewski, Tyutin, Nikitin, Golobuef, Savard, and Moore. Possibly adding Ryan Murray as well, though I believe they should take a forward.

Wouldn't mind going after Calvert, that kid can fly.
But those things make sense.

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05-01-2012, 05:51 AM
  #112
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Hjalmarsson had two cups of coffee in the two seasons prior to his first full season. To say he had a relatively equal amount of time to show his worth compared to Niemi is being disingenuous.
Two cups of coffee? I didn't say he had a relatively equal amount, I said he didn't have much more, which is true, when you consider the commitment they made to Hjalmarsson was far larger than what they would have had to commit to with Niemi. They got an extended look at Niemi during the 09-10 season, he was with the team all year, and if he showed something special, they would have taken note. He didn't, and they didn't. We didn't either, as observers, and now confirmed as fans of the team he is on.

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Your entire argument has been disingenuous because you're making the whole worth thing being something absolute when it wasn't simply about worth on his own. It was about what their options were when it came to being compliant with the cap. And it was easier for them to replace a goalie at a cheaper salary relative to play compared to a top four d-man or a top six forward...especially at the time this whole thing went down.
My argument is far more nuanced than you know. Niemi himself played a big role in the situation they found themselves in. If he had dominated his way to the Cup, he would have been a lot harder to let go. But fact is, he didn't. Outside of the Sharks series, he really didn't do anything special -- and that's what led to the thinking that season that the era of the highly paid, stud goalie was over (now known to be mistaken). If he was instrumental in their win, they pay him $2.75m and don't look back. Heck if he was instrumental, he probably wouldn't have made it to arbitration.

Don't get me wrong here, I agree that the cap situation the Hawks faced didn't make it easy to keep him. But his talent level plays a large part of that, which is the point, remember this line of discussion was directed at a poster who claimed Niemi's intrinsic value is as high as or higher than the likes of Rinne or Nabokov (in his prime) because of his Cup ring. Said poster needs the wakeup call of Niemi's general insignificance to the Hawks' Cup run, particularly compared to the players the Hawks opted to keep over him (and really, many of the players the Hawks could not also keep).

We have seen the problem with valuing the Cup pedigree over actual measurable skill time and time again with DW's signing of the likes of Wallin and Huskins. People are to be disabused of that line of thinking. Niemi as of right now is simply not very good for us.


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05-01-2012, 09:40 AM
  #113
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Woah... Are they really suggesting Niemi for Mason or something?

Why...?
I think hes suggested the Bus as a landing place for Niemi. Though there will be other goalies hitting the FA market for free so I dont see the Jackets giving up anything for him, though as a throw in as part of evening out another trade, I could see it happens.

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05-01-2012, 10:24 AM
  #114
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I think hes suggested the Bus as a landing place for Niemi. Though there will be other goalies hitting the FA market for free so I dont see the Jackets giving up anything for him, though as a throw in as part of evening out another trade, I could see it happens.
Who would that be?

Brodeur? no, for obvious reasons
Vokoun? Had a terrible season, and wouldn't go to Cbus most likely

Beyond that the list is:

Gustavsson
Hedberg
Clemmensen
Roloson
Harding
Biron
Sanford
Montoya
Mason (Chris)
Johnson
Conklin
Raycroft
Peters
Auld
Turco
Ellis
McEllhinney


That's basically it. Niemi is the best goalie of that list (besides maybe Harding, who has had injury issues and will likely go elsewhere) that is any kind of long term solution. They wouldn't have to overpay him to get him to sign with them (since he's locked up long term) either.

The reasoning behind the Steve Mason talk is because he is a much more talented goalie than he has shown. He's played on a bad team, with a lousy system, and lousy coaching. He's the perfect 'buy low' goalie who could turn his career around with a clean slate.

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05-01-2012, 10:30 AM
  #115
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Who would that be?

Brodeur? no, for obvious reasons
Vokoun? Had a terrible season, and wouldn't go to Cbus most likely

Beyond that the list is:

Gustavsson
Hedberg
Clemmensen
Roloson
Harding
Biron
Sanford
Montoya
Mason (Chris)
Johnson
Conklin
Raycroft
Peters
Auld
Turco
Ellis
McEllhinney


That's basically it. Niemi is the best goalie of that list (besides maybe Harding, who has had injury issues and will likely go elsewhere) that is any kind of long term solution. They wouldn't have to overpay him to get him to sign with them (since he's locked up long term) either.

The reasoning behind the Steve Mason talk is because he is a much more talented goalie than he has shown. He's played on a bad team, with a lousy system, and lousy coaching. He's the perfect 'buy low' goalie who could turn his career around with a clean slate.
And what do the sharks do with the 14 other goalies they have in the system. Bringing in ANOTHER goalie doesnt really make sense.

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05-01-2012, 11:11 AM
  #116
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And what do the sharks do with the 14 other goalies they have in the system. Bringing in ANOTHER goalie doesnt really make sense.
I would move Greiss (he's clearly not in our longterm plans) and let Stalock/Sexsmith/Sateri battle for the backup spot in camp, as it should be.

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05-01-2012, 11:36 AM
  #117
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Niemi was awesome. If you look at most of the goals, the Sharks defense were often mesmerized by the sheen on the puck as it went across the ice. The Blues players were always open...literally by themselves in the open areas. Put a d-man on the open guys and pucks will get cleared...no easy goals. Niemi didn't get the help he deserved imo.

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05-01-2012, 11:48 AM
  #118
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Niemi was awesome. If you look at most of the goals, the Sharks defense were often mesmerized by the sheen on the puck as it went across the ice. The Blues players were always open...literally by themselves in the open areas. Put a d-man on the open guys and pucks will get cleared...no easy goals. Niemi didn't get the help he deserved imo.
While this is true, it's mostly irrelevant. He would only be his second 'good' playoff series in his career, the other being against us. He's a good goalie, not a great goalie, and they are a dime a dozen. We have one as a backup that is a lot cheaper and has more potential. If Niemi has value to another team, you move him.

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05-01-2012, 01:50 PM
  #119
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While this is true, it's mostly irrelevant. He would only be his second 'good' playoff series in his career, the other being against us. He's a good goalie, not a great goalie, and they are a dime a dozen. We have one as a backup that is a lot cheaper and has more potential. If Niemi has value to another team, you move him.
i agree. you gotta move him is someone wants him. our D was pretty soft this year we all know. at some point your goalie has to do a better job than to kick out rebounds all the time. e.g. quick, m.smith

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05-01-2012, 02:17 PM
  #120
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I am still for Niemi. I am confident that if he had the help from some more experienced stay at home d-men, he would have had more success. Rebounds and the crease would be cleared, sticks would be tied up, and shots from the point would get through, instead of at the skates or worse...up into the netting. I think Niemi is pretty good, but if a trade is warranted, at least get a defenseman who can help in that area. I remember a time when our D would stand up at the Blueline...those days are long gone.

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05-01-2012, 02:27 PM
  #121
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Originally Posted by apparitionSHELL View Post
I am still for Niemi. I am confident that if he had the help from some more experienced stay at home d-men, he would have had more success. Rebounds and the crease would be cleared, sticks would be tied up, and shots from the point would get through, instead of at the skates or worse...up into the netting. I think Niemi is pretty good, but if a trade is warranted, at least get a defenseman who can help in that area. I remember a time when our D would stand up at the Blueline...those days are long gone.
I disagree totally, stay at home d-men are almost a thing of the past these days, and if anything we need to be getting rid of a few (Murray, White). Today a d-man really needs to be mobile, and 2-way. While putting up points is nice, by two-way I simply mean offensively competent, can move the puck, good first pass, smart pinching. Vlasic is about the most 1-way i want our defensemen to be at this point.

Our problem was not the quality of our defensemen as much as it was the system they played in and their confidence in themselves and their goaltender. Sharks D needs to be even more mobile next year, and have a much better defensive system.

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05-01-2012, 02:46 PM
  #122
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I disagree totally, stay at home d-men are almost a thing of the past these days, and if anything we need to be getting rid of a few (Murray, White). Today a d-man really needs to be mobile, and 2-way. While putting up points is nice, by two-way I simply mean offensively competent, can move the puck, good first pass, smart pinching. Vlasic is about the most 1-way i want our defensemen to be at this point.

Our problem was not the quality of our defensemen as much as it was the system they played in and their confidence in themselves and their goaltender. Sharks D needs to be even more mobile next year, and have a much better defensive system.
Thing is, with the right partner (Burns, Blake, etc.) Vlasic can be a 2way guy.

As for the 2nd point. I agree; we could also use some PMD on the Left side like everyone suggested.

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05-01-2012, 03:53 PM
  #123
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Two cups of coffee? I didn't say he had a relatively equal amount, I said he didn't have much more, which is true, when you consider the commitment they made to Hjalmarsson was far larger than what they would have had to commit to with Niemi. They got an extended look at Niemi during the 09-10 season, he was with the team all year, and if he showed something special, they would have taken note. He didn't, and they didn't. We didn't either, as observers, and now confirmed as fans of the team he is on.
Please, Hjalmarsson had over 200 games in North America. Niemi didn't even have 100 before the playoffs started. Saying that they were relatively close or that Hjalmarsson didn't have much more is just silly. Saying they got an extended look is revising what their intentions were that season. They weren't looking for an up-and-coming goalie to take the reigns. They spent that entire regular season doing everything they can to make Cristobal Huet a competent goalie so that they didn't end up having to do what they inevitably did which was bury him. They went to Niemi when the playoffs started because they had no choice. They would go to Niemi during the season because they didn't have a choice. And when they decided to not honor the arbitration, it was because they didn't have a choice. It didn't have anything to do with the player himself. It had to do with what their options were at the time and the only one they had was to let him go. And the reason why it was the only choice was because of the timing of it. They couldn't just give a player away in the trade market at that time because teams are set and goalies will always be the easiest thing to replace at any given time period...not forwards and not defensemen and that's why it is faulty, to put it nicely, to believe that a good goalie is worth more than either of those because the market will say otherwise.

Quote:
My argument is far more nuanced than you know. Niemi himself played a big role in the situation they found themselves in. If he had dominated his way to the Cup, he would have been a lot harder to let go. But fact is, he didn't. Outside of the Sharks series, he really didn't do anything special -- and that's what led to the thinking that season that the era of the highly paid, stud goalie was over (now known to be mistaken). If he was instrumental in their win, they pay him $2.75m and don't look back. Heck if he was instrumental, he probably wouldn't have made it to arbitration.

Don't get me wrong here, I agree that the cap situation the Hawks faced didn't make it easy to keep him. But his talent level plays a large part of that, which is the point, remember this line of discussion was directed at a poster who claimed Niemi's intrinsic value is as high as or higher than the likes of Rinne or Nabokov (in his prime) because of his Cup ring. Said poster needs the wakeup call of Niemi's general insignificance to the Hawks' Cup run, particularly compared to the players the Hawks opted to keep over him (and really, many of the players the Hawks could not also keep).

We have seen the problem with valuing the Cup pedigree over actual measurable skill time and time again with DW's signing of the likes of Wallin and Huskins. People are to be disabused of that line of thinking. Niemi as of right now is simply not very good for us.
I agree that pointing to Niemi's ring is a stupid way to determine value especially compared to other goalies. I disagree that the Hawks keeping him is as simple as saying we want to keep him so we will. I'm pretty sure that they wanted to keep Byfuglien, Sopel, Ladd, and Versteeg. They simply couldn't afford it and the same applied to Niemi. If they had a suitor for Brian Campbell at the time, they would've dumped him but that didn't materialize until this past off-season. You're underestimating just how crunched they were after that season.

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05-02-2012, 10:39 AM
  #124
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[QUOTE=hockeyball;49116897]I disagree totally, stay at home d-men are almost a thing of the past these days, and if anything we need to be getting rid of a few (Murray, White). Today a d-man really needs to be mobile, and 2-way. While putting up points is nice, by two-way I simply mean offensively competent, can move the puck, good first pass, smart bpinching. Vlasic is about the most 1-way i want our defensemen to be at this point.

...here's what happens when you have 2 offensive defensemen on ice, at the same time...

I don't disagree with your opinion...my observation tells me, that if 2 d-men are watching the puck, waiting for a turnover to head it back the other way, then the defensive focus is already gone. Defense wins championships. That goes for any sport.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFW1l...e_gdata_player

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05-02-2012, 12:12 PM
  #125
OrrNumber4
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If you look at Niemi's playoff career, other than in the LA series, he's shown that he can generally play "good enough" for his team to win, and, on average, he can steal one-to-two games/series.

It is really similar to what a guy like Fleury brings to the table.

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