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Future of Wings goaltending

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Here's my two cents...

Dominik Hasek has played well enough this season, and stayed healthy enough, to earn himself another one-year contract. Whether or not his head is in it this time is another story. Everyone here knows how he gets (retires, returns, retires, returns & ruins someone else's chance, moves via free agency, doesn't like it there, stops playing, retires, returns), but if he wants another year in the Winged Wheel, I'm putting my two bits on a re-signing.

Chris Osgood has, as others have pointed out, another year on his current contract. He will be a Red Wing next season, like it or not. Despite Reem's love for him, and as much as I like her and value her opinion on these boards, I wouldn't be comfortable with Ozzie as our full-time starter (I'm sorry...), but he's a quality #2 and a fantastic character guy. My dislike for him has gone away, and I've learned to respect what he does bring to the team.

We were all hoping for Jimmy Howard to be breaking down the door at the end of this season, paving the way for a Osgood/Howard tandem next season - but that hasn't quite happened. He's playing well down on the farm, but he's not making a case for himself to step into the NHL yet... at least, not on a team like the Red Wings. But you can't wait forever for him, and I suspect he'll get his share of starts next season (and by share, I mean 5 or 6).

Stefan Liv, by all accounts, hasn't transitioned to the North American game well. He's had stints in Toledo and I'm not sure the organization is sold on him. But it's his first year across the pond and one thing that the Red Wings are is patient.

As NorrisNick just pointed out, the Wings did draft a goalie this past summer. He is 21 years old, but as other European goaltenders have shown the last few seasons, that's not necessarily a bad thing. That Backstrom fella in Minnesota is quite the tender, and we saw guys like Lundqvist and Niittymaki make the transition quite well. RedWingsCentral has Daniel Larsson ranked quite high on their prospect list, and projects him as a #1 Goaltender. Maybe Stefan Liv is expendable afterall.

I suspect Logan Koopmans will go by the way of Drew MacIntyre and get moved to another AHL team or just kind of fizzle away. Sad, because I was coming up with Super Mario Bros.-related nicknames for him.

Joey MacDonald is Boston's problem now. Everyone get on their knees and thank whoever you pray to for that.

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Stefan Liv and Henrik Lundqvist competed for the spot as the nr1 tender in the Swedish national team for a couple of years and in the elite league they were the top goalies for each respective top tier team. Unfortunately Liv isn't the most stable of goalies and matches stellar performances with some really really awful ones and Lundqvist eclipsed him quite quickly - esp. when both came across to North America.

I'd rather keep Liv as a long shot prospect and get Daniel Larsson over to the training camp and give him a real chance to show off although I'd rather see him stay in Sweden for one more year or so. The team he's playing for - Djurgården - has had two solid goalies and both have been playing quite well on a team with subpar defense. Daniel Larsson is projected to have a decent enough future but I think it's too early to tell after just one season.

Depending on the playoff they might bring back Dom though I think they'd prefer for Howard to get a lot of matches next season and I doubt Dom will be very happy about that. On the other hand trusting 50% of the matches to Osgood makes me..uncomfortable.

Overall I don't think we should be too worried about the goaltending situation, esp if Howard continues to develop. If he doesn't we may need to look around for a nr1 goalie somewhere else and that might get really expensive as they're a top commodity.

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