"I just reread my Hockey News yearbook from last year that listed several forwards higher than him in the top 50 players. It also said his days of being a point per game player are over. What ignorance. Datsyuk is faster and just as creative as I've ever seen him. I would have liked to see what he could have done with the whole seasons worth of games."
toby91_ca replied..."Did the Hockey News really say that? After scoring 67 points in 70 games, surprising that they'd come out and say that his pointer per game days are over (perhaps you've paraphrased too much?)."
I had a hard time getting the pic up but here it is...
I have pretty much every THN Yearbook from 1999 to present as well as almost all the Draft Preview and Top Prospect annuals. I love THN but they biff with some regularity. I found my 2002-2003 Yearbook on the floor today (probably because my Son like to try and destroy my magazines at every opportunity). Found this little gem...
Now anyone who ever followed my posts should know Lilja was my whipping boy for a good stretch but I found this to be more optimistic than even the most staunch LGW Lilja supporters.
Lilly Pad on the first PP unit?!?!?! Offensive upside? Forward?!?
Anyway, I figured i'd make it a topic in case anyone has similiar contributions or I continue to find these (which I probably will just by chance) or i start looking for them to put in here out of boredom.
EDIT: Sorry they are sideways...if anyone can fix that, please do. Otherwise i'll have to figure it out. They were right side up when I previewed them before uploading.
Franzen really is only motivated from April on, isn't he? We just sit around and watch him float all year and then he becomes captain clutch, powerforward man overnight...and its like every year. So wierd.
Oh please. You think Cory Schneider thought that way? "Damn, I'm not gonna be 'the guy' in Vancouver for a long time...".
If Mrazek keeps being awesome and keeps developing he'll get his chance, and if he outplays Howard he'll be the #1.
The way I see it, next year Mrazek is full-time #1 in GR. Then you have atleast 1 year, maybe 2 years as a backup to Jimmy. Best case scenario it develops into a 1A-1B system.
Holland had to sign Jimmy, and the money is right in the ballpark of what he's worth if you look around the league. He plays a ton of games and he does it well. Sure it would be nice to have it a bit cheaper or take off a year or two, but it's not that easy. Key thing is we've locked up quality goaltending for the forseeable future, even if Mrazek would somehow, some way, turn out to be a bust.
Maybe Cory Scnieder did think that way. Obviously Loungo is very uphappy. What if Mrazek clearly won the starting job 2 years from now? Then you have a situation where your backup is vastly overpaid and most likely, very unhappy. How do you think players like signing a 10 year deal, firming planting thier family in a city because the team commited to them, only to lose their job, house, land, schools, kids friends, blah blah blah? Loungo lost his job and not just because Scnieder has been great but because of his contract. Now Vancouver looks bad for signing him to it, for not trading him last year, for not trading him now...if I was Loungo I'd be furious. If I was Schnieder I'd think its a giant circus and Id wonder why they ever signed Loungo that long if they thought so highly of me.
So please, consider all the factors. This is not as bad as Loungo's deal but what I said makes plenty of sense and if not likely is surely possible. Goaltenders should not be signed to huge deals...and Bryzgalov, Loungo, and DiPietro can attest to that. If Mrazek does become an elite goalie in the next three years (which is entirely possible considering his continued meteoeic rise), it can create a dicey situation akin to the Curtis Joseph debacle.
To be clear.. I like the price for Jimmy. I am actually one of Howards bigger fans in a see of haters that seem to bash him constantly. He is much better than people give him credit for. But I don't like the term, mainly because of Mrazek's presence. Situations like Loungo's or Joseph's can make players not want to sign here...and since Iginlaand Bouwmeester were coming from the Flames and niether wanted to play for us...I think we ccan't afford to gamble too much. I'm not saying that any of this will happen, I'm just saying that I believe most people don't consider these truths when judging a contract.
Wow. Can everybody just calm down a little bit about Petr Mrazek? Mrazek is 21 years old with virtually no track record. He doesn't factor into a Jimmy Howard signing
There's really group of about 10-15 goalies in today's league that make up the "top" goalies in the league.
For all the stuff Holland has arguably "screwed up" or "missed" on, let it be known be known that he drafted, developed, and retained a franchise-caliber goaltender without the aid of a Top 10 pick.
Mrazek has about as much "track record" as you can judge a goalie by at his age. This kid steals games...the type of goaltender everyteam wants. Yes, he is still a prospect. That said, that doesn't mean you don't take him into account when signing Howard to a 6 year deal. What do you think Mrazek thinks about it? Do you think it doesn't weigh on him that the Wings (who called him up at an earlier age than any goaltender I remember) basically said, without saying, that Mrazek isn't going to be the guy for 6 years? What does that do to a kids mindset? Yea, if he's professional he'll get over it. But its just like sending Tatar down or burying Nyquist all year...do you think they don't know that they are better than half our forwards? Yet they ride the bus in GR. I don't know about you...but that would drive me crazy. I want to KNOW that I can win the job whenever I'm the best option.
There arent 10 top goalies in the league. A top notch goaltender is as hard to find as a franchise defenseman.
I like the Holland/Howard comment though...well said.
My only questions are who they will send to Toledo? You have to believe the higher ups in Toledo want to keep Coetzee and Nestrasil, and they probably will get to with the latter. If GR signs a AHL vet defenseman (and they probably should) Nedomlel or Almquist may be on their way down too. GR should think about a veteran goalie as well to mentor Mrazek. If that happens, Toledo should have one of the goalie prospects too. They could be pretty stacked next year.
I've had a chronic back injury since I turned 23, four years now. One herniated and one bulging disc...I have no idea how you could play NHL hockey let alone Helm's type style. I love Helm as a player and what he brings to this team. If this ends up being career ending it will be yet another sad, very unfortunate loss for the organization. Terribly sad for Helm as a person. I really hope he can recover.
I am getting really tired of seeing great players careers cut short. I was just talking to my Wife about this the other day. Imagine how different the history of this sport would look if we wouldn't have lost all or most of the careers of Orr, Lemieux, Lindros, Bossy, etc. But just as frustrating is how hard the phenomenon has hit the Red Wings, in the case of players in thier prime. Konstantinov, Fischer, and Grigorenko's careers were ruined within the span of 7 years. Konstantinov was one of the best defenseman of his generation, Fischer was a cornerstone of the next generation of Wings, and Grigorenko was primed to become a fixture in the top six for years to come. Darren Helm's career has just begun...i truly hope things work out for him.
Yuck! I could not disagree more with the bolded mentality above.
We're the Detroit Red Wings...first round exits are pathetic, collasal failures. The thing now is, we're not even trying to win the cup. Kenny knows we aren't good and I guess we're supposed to cool with. Well im a spoiled Wings fan and i hate, i hate, first round exits. If we have to suck and accept it we might as well get a good pick instead of losing to the Hawks or something in the first round.
Think about it man... if we've overachieved this far through so many drastic changes to the core, through so many injuries and with so mannexperienced players in the lineup then why would we suddenly fall apart? Come playoff time if we are more healthy then not and if we have some of the kinks ironed out then we have the chance to overachieve in the playoffs as well... it is very possible
Look man...I treat the Wings like i would my own kid...even when they're near useless and a shell of what they have been or could be, I still can't help but think the impossible is possible. That said, I dont believe this is anywhere near a Cinderella team. Could you imagine if we made it to the conference finals and had to rely on Kronwall to be a true difference maker, Ericsson as on top shutdown guy, anyone not named Datsyuk or Zetterberg to score a big goal, or for that matter almost anyone besides those two actually playing like they really care whether they win or not? Cinderella teams usually use stellar work ethic to succeed...we do not. Theres a reason SF didnt put Melky Cabrera on the playoff roster last year...even though he very well could of been the best hitter on the team not named Posey, they didnt want him there because his presence was bad for the team. That is Johan Franzen for us. If he can just loaf aroind constantly without any reverberation, i dont see our other floaters acting like they care either. The last few years the only guys that really looked to me like they desperatly wanted to win in the playoffs were Datsyuk, Helm, and Howard. Thats gotta change before we can believe the improbable.