Saturday, May 27, 2006
Sigh. So much for the Da Stevie Code. The Coyotes just re-signed Curtis Joseph. I was worried the code may have some flaws. Obvious, gaping flaws. So this time let's attack the many Senator conundrums from a common sense point of view. At least, my version of it.
Let's begin with the big one. Goaltending.
What's to be done with the Dominator? If healthy, even at his age, Hasek is still one of the league's best goalies. But he's injury prone and old, by hockey standards. Flexibility, like everything else, erodes with time and no goalie I've ever seen relies more on flexibility than Hasek. He's gumby out there. Flippin' and floppin' and twistin' and whirlin'. He's amazing. But he couldn't stay healthy this season at 41. Hoping he can stay healthy at 42 is an extremely risky play.
The argument has been, "Well, maybe you give him more nights off next season, he'll stay healthy." Perhaps. But it's my belief that he hurt his groin area because he just shifted his weight awkwardly while going down at the Olympics in February. Not because he was tired. It was Hasek's 44th game of the season and he'd just had four days off with none of the aforementioned flippin', floppin', twistin' or whirlin'.
For argument's sake, let's say it was a fatigue issue. It's a reasonable take. However, if it's true, could we really expect Hasek to keep his groin area fatigue at bay for 2 full months during the gruelling Stanley Cup Playoffs? I mean, look at the abuse Edmonton's Dwayne Roloson is receiving right now.
In July 2004, when the Sens first signed Hasek, he had played just 14 games in three years. It was basically the same risk someone would take signing Patrick Roy right now. And Hasek is 9 months older. All in all, I credit Sens GM Muckler for recognizing how much talent was still there. But talent is only useful on the ice, not in the trainer's room.
I say go ahead and re-sign Hasek. But only, ONLY, if you aquire another goalie, capable of taking you all the way right now. For example, soon-to-be UFA Martin Gerber reminded everyone how good he is last night. Get Hasek, who doesn't want to play anywhere else, at 1.5M. Get Gerber at 4 million (made 1.064M this year). That's two studs at under 6 million. By comparison, Nikolai Khabibulin made close to 8M in Chicago this year.
Well, well. Now we might be on to something.
However, if the plan is to let Emery be the main backup then I think it's time to, as Bryan Murray said, move on from Hasek. There are no guarantees in life but I think the Sens need to play the percentages and find a goaltending stud more likely to be healthy at crunch time.
Posted by Steve Warne at 6:59 PM