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admin
Forum Admin



Canada
2172 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2003 :  18:35:47  Show Profile
Contributed by: Fred Lajeunesse.

Loyalty, respectÖ. those are words that used to be common talk in the NHL. Class acts such as Steve Yzerman, Mike Modano, and Joe Sakic are few and far between nowadays in the world of hockey. But what I am referring to is the lack of respect from the owners towards the players. This year, we have seen two goaltenders get booted off their respective teams: Curtis Joseph in Detroit and Arturs Irbe in Carolina. OK, some will say: ďListen, these guys are making huge money, do they care?Ē well yes, they do. They want to play and win as much as anybody else. Money is not the issue here but rather respect being the focal point.

Letís look at Arturs Irbeís situation first. This guy is a class act, well liked by all players in the league. He is the guy who took the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup finals in 2002 and yet two years later he is relegated to the minor leagues and out of the Hurricanesís plans. Jim Rutherford (President/GM) stated that Irbe just didnít fit in Carolina. To be fair, Irbe didnít really have a good year in 2002-2003 but neither did the Hurricanes. But what strikes me is the way the whole situation is being handled. He is now playing in the East Coast League. Irbe gave his heart and soul for the Hurricanes and this is how he is being treated?

Now to Curtis Joseph. Well, here is an interesting situation. When Dominik Hasek retired, the Wings were desperate for a top-notch goaltender. The best goaltender available in the free agent market that year was Cujo, no contest. So they signed Joseph to a hefty contract and hailed him as Hasekís successor. He had a good year in 2002-2003 (34 wins, 19 losses. 2.49 GAA and a .912 save percentage). When Anaheim knocked the Wings out of the playoffs, (the Ducks eventually went all the way to the Stanley Cup final) all fingers were pointing at Joseph. But wait a minute; the Wings just couldnít score a goal against the Ducks. Was it fair to point the fingers at Joseph? Simply put, No! So they decided to lure Hasek out of retirement. This is where the whole situation turned sour. Here is Hasek coming back to the Wings although they still had Joseph on their roster. Joseph was never notified of what the Wings were planning on doing with him. Now he is brought back with the Wings and will be showcased for the NHL. With his big contract, few teams will be interested. The way Detroitís GM Mike Holland handled the situation is ridiculous. I feel Joseph can help a team go all the way to the Stanley Cup. Heís money in the bank. Hasek just got hurt so Joseph will be getting a few starts in the next week or so. His first start this year ended up in a loss, not a good way to showcase your skills but at least itís a start. But what will be interesting to see is how Dave Lewis (Detroitís coach) handles the goaltending situation: Will he give Joseph all the starts or will he give Manny Legace one or two starts in the next week?

These days there arenít any teams in need of a goaltender. A trade will happen when a team such as the New York Rangers or the Philadelphia Flyers are in the midst of a goaltending controversy. Letís hope for Josephís that that day is near, he deserves it. Those two examples only emphasize what the NHL is all about these days: a big business.

Let me know what you think of the treatment the players are getting from the NHL teams.

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Have an opinion on Fred's article? Let us know. Just hit reply below and post your thoughts.

brockcar
Top Prospect

Canada
1 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2003 :  08:40:43  Show Profile
Hey Freddy,

Nice article. Good insight from someone who eats, sleeps, and smokes hockey. Being that I am in hockey wasteland known as Wales, I'm feeling a bit out of touch with the hockey world. I keep up the best I can on the internet, but being that I don't get to watch many games (unless I stay up till 5 am once a week to catch the odd game on TV here), and my team is the Flames, I usually get pretty discouraged. Here goes anyway.

Cujo got screwed with the situation going on in Motown. It seems laughable to think that a goalie of his calibre would get bounced off the team in favour of someone else, unless that someone is Hasek. I think the Wings made a hasty if not desperate move by bringing him back. I don't care how good he is; he's pushing 40, and no goalie can sustain a high level of play for long at that age.

Add to that the fact that he sat out all year last season, he's rusty and out of practice. I'll predict right now that in the long run it won't work out for the Wings. They won't make it out of the west, as their geriatric lineup will wilt under the strain of playoff hockey. Hasek will fade, or more likely get injured.

What the Wings should have done is make Hasek realize that his value had decreased and trade him elsewhere. They might have gotten quality young players or cash: either way it would have been better for them.
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Ladge
Top Prospect

Canada
8 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2003 :  17:31:35  Show Profile
Thanks Brockcar for your insightful comments. I do also beleive that the wings will eventually realize, and probably the hard way, that they have made a mistake by bringing back Hasek and screwing with Cujo's career. You are right, Hasek is at this point injured and i foresee him hitting the injury list a few more times before the end of this season. Come playoff times, the wings will find that without scoring goals it really doesn't matter who is in goal or how goal that goalie is.

What does everybody else think?
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Ripley
PickupHockey Pro



USA
344 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2003 :  11:34:34  Show Profile
The Dominator is twice the goaltender that Cujo is...or ever was! Cujo dropped the ball for you Candians at the Olympics, he left Toronto because he was selfish and now he is paying the price for his greed.
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Ladge
Top Prospect

Canada
8 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2003 :  12:05:41  Show Profile
Should we judge a goaltender's career and skills on one game at the olympics? I agree that Cujo had a bad game against Sweden but its not justified to put the blame on him...besides, we still won.
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Ripley
PickupHockey Pro



USA
344 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2003 :  23:10:05  Show Profile
Well the fact that Canada still won is not the issue. What is at issue is that Cujo didn't win them the gold. Brodeur played his ass off and the rest of the team decided to wake up for a couple games when it counted. Granted, it may have been the best team ever assembled. Anyway we're getting off topic. Cujo did have a good season last year, he stayed reasonably healthy and put up some top notch numbers. But let's face it, the goal isn't finishing well in the regular season, it's the cup. He stunk up the place. if you look at his numbers, they aren't really that bad for the playoffs but the goals he let in were VERY BAD! He has never won a cup. Hasek has....who with? Yah that's right, Detroit. Of course they're going to take him back, Cujo left a bad taste in their mouths. I know Fred's article is about respect, but who can respect a guy who gets paid what Curtis does and doesn't perform when it counts.

And as one final point for me on this topic...Guess who got a shut out tonight? I'll give you one hint....it wasn't Joseph.
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coastie
Top Prospect

USA
49 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2003 :  06:42:46  Show Profile
No debate... Cujo, I think, is and always has been a over-hyped over-rated netminder. There were probably almost a dozen better goalies in the last decade.

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Ladge
Top Prospect

Canada
8 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2003 :  06:50:21  Show Profile
Good points Ripley. And i encourage debates so let's keep it up!
We need feedbacks from all of you to make this better.
Hasek did get a shut out tonight, way to show me off.
On another topic, who do you all think will trade for Joseph? Colorado? NY Rangers? or another team?
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coastie
Top Prospect

USA
49 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2003 :  07:19:44  Show Profile
If the choice is between New York Rangers and Colorado, I think the Avs are mroe in need and with the amount of money they're raking in so far his season, They'd be pretty safe with a higher priced netminder like Cujo.

I do believe he is a great Goaltender, and any other team would be happy to have him.

New York's Mike Dunham and Jussi Markkanen are both showing some pretty decent skill. Niether is an incredible goaltender, but they are definately very talented.

Colorado's David Aebisher (sp?) and Suave are both very decent players, but they could use the depth and experience of Cujo to carry them a little further this season. I think Between the two Colorado would probably be the more likely one... but with the way they go through goalies, they may be looking for someone a bit younger to hold them through the late season crunch.
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