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Blues interested/signed G Jonas Hiller???

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Old
04-22-2007, 11:50 AM
  #1
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Blues interested/signed G Jonas Hiller???

I saw this over on the prospects board under the Undrafted FA title and it says the Blues are rumored to be close to signing Goalie Jonas Hiller of HC Davos, he's 6'2 174 and dob is 12/2/82 and he was Swiss goalie of the year. If this is accurated this is a real head-scratcher, but value is value I guess. can anyone confirm this?

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04-22-2007, 12:08 PM
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SIU LAW
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I have heard rumblings that the Blues have been looking at a non-NHLer (and non-NHL prospect) to bring over from overseas for a number of weeks now. I had not heard any details about the player (position, league, age, ect.), but perhaps this is their man. I always assumed it would be a forward. I too find this a bit strange that they are going after another goalie. If they are indeed going after him, he must be something special considering their current logjam…or perhaps a few pieces of the current logjam will be moved, necessitating more depth. Just a thought.

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04-22-2007, 12:59 PM
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Yep it's true, Andy Murray says he doesn't have any doubts that the Blues will offer a contract to Jonas Hiller.

It's also on http://www.hockeyfans.ch

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04-22-2007, 02:20 PM
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Prussian_Blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheechoo14whitney
Yep it's true, Andy Murray says he doesn't have any doubts that the Blues will offer a contract to Jonas Hiller.

It's also on http://www.hockeyfans.ch
Yes, it is...

Quote:
St. Louis Blues wollen Hiller
Sonntag, 22. April 2007, 11:56 Uhr - Martin Merk

Der Davoser Meistergoalie Jonas Hiller , der sich als ungedrafteter Spieler einen NHL-Club sucht, wird ein Angebot der St. Louis Blues erhalten.

Der in der Schweiz nicht unbekannte Blues-Trainer Andy Murray traf sich am Rande des Nationalmannschafts-Camp in Rapperswil mit dem Appenzeller. Er zweifle laut der "Sonntagszeitung" überhaupt nicht daran, dass man Hiller einen Vertrag anbieten werde.

Bei den Blues ist derzeit der 34-Jährige Manny Legace Stammgoalie. Ein Nummer-2-Torhüter ist noch nicht bestimmt. Die Verträge von Curtis Sanford und Jason Bacashihua, den Nummern zwei und drei, laufen aus. Einzig der 21-jährige Tscheche Marek Schwarz, der im Farmteam eingesetzt wurde, steht neben Legace bislang unter Vertrag im System der Blues. "Für Hiller wäre es bei uns eine optimale Situation", äussert sich Murray.
I'll post a better translation later, but essentially what this says is that Hiller (Davos' "master goalie," or first-string goalie in American terms) is undrafted by any NHL team; that he will sign a contract with the Blues; that Murray has some connection to the Swiss National Team training camp in Rapperswil (he does have tons of connections in Germany...); that 34-year-old Manny Legace is the Blues' number one goalie; that Bacashihua and Sanford as second and third on the depth chart, followed by Schwarz; and that Murray thinks it's an "optimal situation" for Hiller to sign with the Blues.

An interesting side note is that Swiss prospect goalie Reto Berra has signed a contract with Davos for next season. By signing Hiller, if the Blues indeed do so, Berra has a clear path to being the number one goalie in Davos -- a pretty high-profile club as Swiss teams go -- at age 20.

This could be part of the plan to facilitate Berra's development, and if Hiller is signed by the Blues, it probably also means that Barulin will not be, and that possibly two of Beckford-Tseu, Sanford, and Bacashihua could be moved for help elsewhere, or as part of a trade-up package at the draft.

This off-season is shaping up to be awfully interesting...

P_B


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Old
04-22-2007, 03:28 PM
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I have seen Hiller play at an NHL level and seen him let in the weakest of weak goals. Kind of like Raycroft's meltdown against Montreal. I hope he comes over and does well.

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04-22-2007, 03:41 PM
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Wow, everyone thought that we would trade from our position of strength, defence, for forward help. Maybe this will give us a whole new angle to deal from? A few of our top goaltending prospects could get some attention, perhaps?

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04-22-2007, 03:55 PM
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Some collected information and comment at The Blue Note Blog .

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04-22-2007, 07:36 PM
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OK, Sanford in a FA, so I'd count him out. With Cashes and CBT run-ins with the law (personally, I don't think either was a big deal), they may both be considered tainted in the Blues eyes.

So let's assume all three are gone (yes a HUGE assumption), then Schwarz could be the back up to Legace next year and Hiller the starter in Peoria. Or vice-versa.

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Old
04-22-2007, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanniniClaus View Post
I have seen Hiller play at an NHL level and seen him let in the weakest of weak goals. Kind of like Raycroft's meltdown against Montreal. I hope he comes over and does well.
Not to sound cynical, but if he hasn't played in the NHL yet, how has he played at an NHL level? From my understanding the nearest to NHL is in the Russian leagues, but that still isn't NHL level. Unless you are talking about like World Championships with NHL players. That would make sense, otherwise he hasn't played at an NHL level.

He may have some weaknesses, but what UDFA doesn't have some weakness? The Blues clearly see something in him, either as a future NHL backup, or perhaps an insurance plan to make sure the AHL team has a decent backup. Maybe it's just to get him out of Sweden and clear the road for Berra.

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Old
04-22-2007, 07:57 PM
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Is there any chance that as a 25 year old, he might go straight into the backup role with the Blues?

I am trying to figure how they'll work this puzzle at goalie and it's damn hard. Bishop can develop up to two more years in the NCAA. Schwarz has probably a full year at Peoria and then the backup role.

As far as I can tell, this is how the organization is looking at the goaltending situation.

Legace = here for two years max
Schwarz = future #1, needs another full AHL year then starts getting blended in
Sanford = not in the plans, trade or walk
Bacashihua = possibly the main backup to Legace this year or simply traded
CBT = AHL talent, tops, may be moved to make room
Barulin = must not be coming over
Hiller = AHL? NHL backup instead of Bacashihua (he's 25)?
Bishop = stay in school two more years
Berra = be the #1 for his European club for a year or two before coming over to the AHL?

We got 9 freaking goalies in the system. CBT, Barulin and Sanford = out of the system this offseason via trade or walking away? That would leave Legace/Bacashihua for the Blues, Schwarz/Hiller for the AHL, Bishop in the NCAA and Berra in Europe as a #1.

The big trade chip IMO is Bishop. Schwarz we're keeping. Bishop's size is seductive but maybe JD sees some fatal flaws and knows he can get some serious value in return. Of course, if Bishop stays in school he isn't blocking anyone's development.

I don't know. But we're seriously stockpiled at D and G and #1 picks and seriously short of top-end forward talent. This should be a very interesting offseason.

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Old
04-22-2007, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DaBo View Post
OK, Sanford in a FA, so I'd count him out. With Cashes and CBT run-ins with the law (personally, I don't think either was a big deal), they may both be considered tainted in the Blues eyes.

So let's assume all three are gone (yes a HUGE assumption), then Schwarz could be the back up to Legace next year and Hiller the starter in Peoria. Or vice-versa.
There are a lot of possible scenerios, but imo, the one that is almost certain not to happen, is Schwarz being backup to Legace next season.
He needs to be playing everyday improving his skills, not letting them rust on our bench.

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04-22-2007, 08:40 PM
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JD is really high on Bishop, so I do not see him being dealt at this time.

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04-22-2007, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by SIU LAW View Post
JD is really high on Bishop, so I do not see him being dealt at this time.

So with this statement I wonder if it could be Schwarz that gets moved. If JD sees Bishop as the goalie of the future in St. Louis, then we'll have little need for Schwarz. The Blues can go with Legace/Bacashihua/Hiller until Big Ben is ready. I'd have to think that a former 1st rounder and AHL all-star would have value.

Also I wonder if some or any of this has to do with CBT's brain fart run-in with the law

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04-22-2007, 10:02 PM
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SIU LAW
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I think JD will act cautiously when it comes to dealing either Schwarz or Bishop. There is really no need to trade either, as both are on different mile markers of the development curve. Bishop still has time in school (maybe a full two years) and then minor league developing to do… Schwarz is already completing some of his minor league development time.

With the restricted free agent status of some of the Blues’ goalies, when negotiations roll around, I would not be surprised an agent or two to ask (on behalf of their client) to be moved so that their clients have more of an opportunity to play and move up the ladder. CBT will likely be a candidate for such a request.

I do not think Hiller would sign on if there was an expectation he would be sent to Alaska. Apparently, more than one team was after Hiller, so he had a few options.

My gut tells me that he probably will be the backup in Peoria, with CBT being traded along with one of Cash/Sanford. To protect assests, perhaps they could loan out CBT this year...but I bet you anything his agent wants him in another organization.

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04-22-2007, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Is there any chance that as a 25 year old, he might go straight into the backup role with the Blues?
I do not think it is likely, but not impossible. I have said a few times that I would not be surprised if the Blues parted ways with both Sanford and Cash for different reasons, and signed a veteran/nomad goalie as a backup until Schwarz is ready. Obviously, Hiller is not a NHL veteran, so who knows. I think it is more likely he is headed to Peoria, but you never know. Niklas Backstrom part deux? Hiller has faced NHL shooters (and had some as teammates) during the lockout year, but that league’s style of play is quite a bit different from the NHL’s.

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04-22-2007, 10:20 PM
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geez...stay away from swiss goalies...Aebischer, Gerber, Stephan...

i've seen him several time over here and i'd be pretty much shocked if he's anything more than an AHL backup for the next 2-3 years

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04-22-2007, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIU LAW View Post
I do not think it is likely, but not impossible. I have said a few times that I would not be surprised if the Blues parted ways with both Sanford and Cash for different reasons, and signed a veteran/nomad goalie as a backup until Schwarz is ready. Obviously, Hiller is not a NHL veteran, so who knows. I think it is more likely he is headed to Peoria, but you never know. Niklas Backstrom part deux? Hiller has faced NHL shooters (and had some as teammates) during the lockout year, but that league’s style of play is quite a bit different from the NHL’s.
The reason I ask is because I think Schwarz would benefit more from 50/60 games in the AHL than 25ish games in the NHL.

We have six goalies who should be playing no lower than the AHL - Legace (under K), Sanford (RFA), Cash (RFA), CBT (under K), Schwarz (under K) and Hiller (under K). Of these, the guy whose development must be protected at all costs is Schwarz, who needs lots and lots of playing time. So if he is the AHL starter and Legace the NHL starter, four guys are battling for two backup roles. Two are under contract - Hiller and CBT and two we own the rights to - Sanford and Cash. The safest is ironically Hiller because he JUST signed. CBT, Cash and Sanford are all potential trade assets.

We might have to shoot two of them into the sun.

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04-23-2007, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walzy
geez...stay away from swiss goalies...Aebischer, Gerber, Stephan...

i've seen him (Hiller) several time over here and i'd be pretty much shocked if he's anything more than an AHL backup for the next 2-3 years
I don't know... I wouldn't mind either Aebischer or Gerber in the 'Note, if the price was right, and there wasn't a better option.

Have you seen Reto Berra at all? If so, what's your take on him? I thought he looked pretty good in the Prospect Camp here last summer...

P_B


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04-23-2007, 10:30 AM
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CBT is RFA as well, his contract expires at the end of this season.

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04-23-2007, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prussian_Blue View Post
Have you seen Reto Berra at all? If so, what's your take on him? I thought he looked pretty good in the Prospect Camp here last summer...
nope, sorry
i also think he had only a hand-full games the whole season

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04-24-2007, 06:22 AM
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As for Berra, it's way the best solution to play in Davos. The coach is known to have a good hand on developping young players.

Hiller and Aebischer will fight for #1 at the Worlds in Russia. Hiller is a very confident and calm goalie. He rarely has "off-nights". His obvious weakness is stickhandling with the puck.

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04-24-2007, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devilman
As for Berra, it's way the best solution to play in Davos. The coach is known to have a good hand on developping young players.

Hiller and Aebischer will fight for #1 at the Worlds in Russia. Hiller is a very confident and calm goalie. He rarely has "off-nights". His obvious weakness is stickhandling with the puck.
That's good information to have, devilman... danke schoen for the insight.

P_B


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Old
04-24-2007, 03:04 PM
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It is a mistake to not look for D and G talent just because we are stacked. I wonder if any of our goaltenders except Schwarz and Bishop have any trade value and if so, how much.

The way Goaltenders are produced these days, it seems that unless they are elite status, they have as much as the NFL's kicker/punters do.

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Old
04-26-2007, 09:19 AM
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i've seen him several time over here and i'd be pretty much shocked if he's anything more than an AHL backup for the next 2-3 years
I think there is a big chance you will be shocked

Not saying he will be a starter in the NHL, but he is surely more than an AHL backup

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Old
04-26-2007, 10:15 AM
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I was almost ready to concede Bacashihua being the Blues backup next season. I now take back that prediction.

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