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Roman Malek update

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Old
03-15-2004, 10:14 AM
  #1
GKJ
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Roman Malek update

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article...readed&order=0

If there is a must-see player in the Czech Extraliga, Roman Malek would have to be considered at the top of the list. The little dynamo is exceptionally quick and adept at making highlight-reel saves. He makes up for a lack of size with a very quick glove hand and a very active stick.

That being said, 2002-03 was truly a down-and-up year for the little bandit after setting the Extraliga on fire last year with a record 11 shutouts.

Most notable was the fact that Malek refused an offer from the Flyers to sign a two-way contract and start the year in the AHL. Malek didn’t feel as though he would have a true chance at an NHL job, and would risk losing some salary and national team status while stuck on long AHL bus rides. Rather than risk ‘exile’ in the AHL, Malek decided to return to Slavia for another season.

Although the playoff champion Slavia Prague team lost a few talented players (most notably Jan Hejda and Radek Duda), they were still a favorite to repeat and Malek would be there to carry the team once again.

Halfway through the season, however, Malek looked to be a shadow of his former self as he was giving up many ‘easy’ goals and had an unimpressive .500 record behind a talented hockey club. Malek questioned his decision not to jump to the AHL and then eventually lost his spot to the younger Lukas Hronek and was traded to Plzen, a team far out of the playoff race at the time.

Although Malek wasn’t warm to the idea of being traded, the move really sparked him and he went on a mission to redeem himself as he carried Plzen during the late part of the schedule and into the eighth and final playoff spot.

As Malek has rediscovered his game, he once again cemented his spot on the Czech national team and is a good candidate to be the third goalie for the Czech Republic at the upcoming World Cup. It will be interesting to see if Malek takes another look at making the jump to North America next season.

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03-15-2004, 10:24 AM
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Whats the point? Clarke wont trust him to carry the team. He wouldnt trust Nittymaki despite his great play for the Phantoms and in his short stint on the Flyers this year. Instead he would rather sign old has-beens for too much money to provide "veteran leadership". I think Clarke does a great job as GM, but the one area where he is really weak as a GM is in accquiring quality talent in net. Even when he has it drop out of the sky into his lap, he rarely recognizes and promotes it.

prediction: one of Nittymaki or Malek is traded this off season. Flyers sign Kolzig or Burke.

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03-15-2004, 10:29 AM
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Kolzig isnt a free agent

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03-15-2004, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoJojo
Whats the point? Clarke wont trust him to carry the team. He wouldnt trust Nittymaki despite his great play for the Phantoms and in his short stint on the Flyers this year. Instead he would rather sign old has-beens for too much money to provide "veteran leadership". I think Clarke does a great job as GM, but the one area where he is really weak as a GM is in accquiring quality talent in net. Even when he has it drop out of the sky into his lap, he rarely recognizes and promotes it.

prediction: one of Nittymaki or Malek is traded this off season. Flyers sign Kolzig or Burke.
We have our goalie, his name is Robert Esche. Take a look, he's not doing to shabby.

Let Niittymaki spend next year playing another 55 games for the Phantoms, and then have him move up to the Flyers the following year.

If someone wants to deal for Malek, make the deal, but I doubt you'll see too much interest.

Clarke was correct in not giving Malek a one-way deal. If he came over and played well the job would have been his, ala Cechmanek 4 years ago.

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Old
03-15-2004, 06:10 PM
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Signing Malek couldnt have been worse than signing Hackett. Hackett got a one way deal too, you know, and he probably cost us more in salary than Malek would have. Nittymaki should have been our backup once Hack was done. Burke hasnt exactly been that great, and at least with Antero, we would be investing in his development. Clarke could have at least waited until the trade deadline, to see how well he could play at the NHL level before he traded for Hackett II.

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03-15-2004, 06:12 PM
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I would again offer him a two way deal.
If he takes it fine let him play for the Phantoms and up his trade value or become a legit backup in case Burke is not around.
If he says no, then stay in Europe, I would still not just give him away.

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Old
03-15-2004, 07:30 PM
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I think he'll probably be traded some time in the near future, as he's probably fallen back behind Niittymaki on the depth chart.

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03-15-2004, 07:41 PM
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First of all and before I get into this, I know this is like whacking a white rhino on the backside - always a risky proposition. However, just because someone offers an alternative notion doesn't mean they offer the OPPOSITE notion. In other words, don't lump me in with the herd (okay, maybe just Jeff's wife) of people who love the guy for what I'm about to suggest.

I think vertigo is one heck of an excuse for letting in some brutal and ill-timed goals. If the guy did indeed have (has) a case of vertigo that was severe enough for him to retire, I think that's excuse enough to just leave him retired in peace. No need to drag the guy through the mud.

However, given the comments I've read from Hitch the past few days regarding Esche (I'm paraphrasing, but something along the lines of "we knew he could do it last year") and the goaltenders they knew would be available at the deadline this year of at least equal capability as Hackett, I have to wonder what it was they were doing offering him a three-year deal this summer. Didn't Hitch and Clarkie talk? I convinced myself this summer that the Hackett signing was pretty good, considering the inexperience of Esche. I don't think the same thing now (who would?). All in all, I think the Flyers got off pretty good when Hackett retired rather than lingering at around $3M per for a couple more seasons after this one.

Rex, I will be surprised if anybody other than Neil Little is the other goaltender with the Phantoms next year. I think the organization has tons of reason to prefer Little over Malek, and the reasons have everything to do with the continued development of Niittymaki. I think that if he comes over, he does so as a Flyer or is traded to someone who would let him play in the NHL.

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03-15-2004, 08:09 PM
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I am very sceptical about the positional vertigo claim. It sounds like an excuse for his terrible play. Vague symptoms, obscure condition, completely medically unverifiable.

Anyway, my point is that Clarke constantly seeks safety in his goaltending, rather than trusting his young propects. Even Esche was merely considered a solid back up when we traded for him (which is why we got him so cheaply).

After the season Malek had in te Czech republic last year, he should have been given a shot at the NHL level. So what if it was a one way prospect. We signed a sucky veteran for more money to a one way contract. To me the choice between a superstar potential youngster, who has smashed most of his leagues records (including those set by Hasek and Cechmanek), and a 30 something year old who has proven himself to be consistently mediocre throught his career is a no brainer.

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03-15-2004, 08:11 PM
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well, I think that the Flyers need to at least bring him over and take a look to see how good this kid really is. I know he turned down tha 2-way last year but I have also read that he had wished he had taken the deal too. I think that Malek will except the 2-way next year and come over to play in camp and possibly start the season off with the Phantoms.

I know that Niittymaki played great for the Flyers and has gotten everybody excited, including me but, he is still developing and far from being a sure shot starting goaltender. I hope that Niittymaki is the man but, it's good to have other options too, like Malek....just incase.

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Old
03-15-2004, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoJojo

Anyway, my point is that Clarke constantly seeks safety in his goaltending, rather than trusting his young propects. Even Esche was merely considered a solid back up when we traded for him (which is why we got him so cheaply).
I'm certainly not trying to defend Clakes desire to have old Goaltenders in the system, but I would like to remind you of 2000 when Boucher took control. Beezer helped him quite a bit, Cechmanek seemed to hurt his already fragile state of mind (maybe not Cechmanek personally, but his presence) It's not a bad combination, unlike Beezer and Hextall

I think that's what Clarke was looking for in Hackett and then Burke. I also think that Hitchcock, like Neilson, has the last call on who is in net and who is on the bench. Both have put a young guy in position to prove themselves, both had veterans to assist the younger goalies development.

Malek is, I believe, in his prime at around 27. Cechmanek was 29 or 30 when he came over, right? Dopita was the best player not playing in the NHL before he came over. Being great over there doesn't mean he's ready to play here and deseves a 2 way contract in my opinion. Fedotenko(though not considered on the same level) spent time in Trenton and he's a regular on the best team in the East now. If you want to play with the best you have to be willing to make concessions it seems to me. He wasn't willing.

Everybody is better than what we have as long as they don't actually play here

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Old
03-16-2004, 05:06 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanley
I think vertigo is one heck of an excuse for letting in some brutal and ill-timed goals. If the guy did indeed have (has) a case of vertigo that was severe enough for him to retire, I think that's excuse enough to just leave him retired in peace.
When I heard the "vertigo" claims, the 1st thing I thought of is a major league baseball pitcher.....when he gets hammered two or three straight starts, he's put on the 15-day DL for whatever the flavor of the moment injury they want to call it. He's given a little R&R, and hopefully comes back and pitches better. If not, it's back on the 15-day DL, saying they tried to bring him back too early.

Was Hack's "vertigo" legit, or a very creative way to make excuses for not being able to stop shots that looked as stoppable as a beach ball coming at him? I guess we'll never really know for sure......

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03-16-2004, 07:00 AM
  #13
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I want to see Malek get a chance just to see how good he is in the NHL. My fear is that they trade him for a 6th rounder and he ends up becoming the next Hasek, like when Chicago traded Hasek to Buffalo. I realize that Malek being the next Hasek is unlikely, but I would rather be safe and try him out rather than risk giving up a great goalie.

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03-16-2004, 07:57 AM
  #14
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Hitchcock and Clarke will never trust a young G. I'm surprised Esche has played as much as he has. If Burke hadn't struggled as much as he has since coming here, I bet you Esche would be sitting every game.

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03-16-2004, 08:04 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinisalo
Hitchcock and Clarke will never trust a young G. I'm surprised Esche has played as much as he has. If Burke hadn't struggled as much as he has since coming here, I bet you Esche would be sitting every game.



I'd like to see Malek here as well, but if he doesn't have enough faith to sign the deal and play in the minors he can stay where he is....future in goal looks fine here with Esche and Nitty.

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Old
03-16-2004, 08:24 AM
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malek is a chump. if he really thinks he can just come over the pond and be an nhl calibre goaltender, then he's sadly mistaken. if he doesn't want to take a year or two in the ahl to learn the north american game, then trade him for a solid winger prospect. the flyers wuold be better to go with antero and a winger instead of antero and malek whining from the pine.

its time that rookie-wannabe nhl players learn its a team sport and to make the team you've got to be a team player, if if you start in the ahl.

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Old
03-20-2004, 04:56 AM
  #17
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Malek has come out and said his agent demanding a one way contract was a bad move. But there was no way Clarke, Hitch, and us the fans would've wanted to go into this season with Esche and either Malek or Nittymaki. Nitty yhas made good strides and depending on how Esche finishes the year and playoffs, Nitty will probably come into the team as a backup next season, opening that spot on the Phantoms for Malek to show his stuff.
I don't think you can say Malek isn't good. But I would be suprised to see him as a Hasek or a bust. Think Jussi Markanen, another goalie who came over in his midlate 20s and has been a serviceable NHL backup. I think Malek is that good.
But bringing him this year would've hurt Esche and Nitty and none of us would've standed for a goalie tandem of esche and a rookie. (There were grave doubts about Esche before the season.)

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