Blog Entry

Detroit's options limited for backup goaltender

Posted on: July 11, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 3:56 pm
 
ChrisOsgood

By Adam Gretz

The Red Wings went into the workday Monday with  only one goaltender under contract for the upcoming season -- returning starter Jimmy Howard, who is signed through next year at a cap hit of $2.25 million. By Monday afternoon the club had reached a two-year, two-way contract with backup Joey MacDonald, with the possibility remaining that veteran Chris Osgood could be returning to the mix as well.

MacDonald's deal will pay him an average annual salary of $550,000 if he plays in the NHL, and $105,000 if he plays in the minor leagues, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. General manager Ken Holland said, via St. James, that MacDonald is likely to open the season as the Red Wings' No. 3 goalie and that the team is still looking to add another veteran to backup Howard.

Speculation has naturally turned to Osgood, a 17-year veteran who has had two different stints wearing the winged wheel, in large part because other veteran free agents have already landed in other spots, including Tomas Vokoun in Washington and Jose Theodore in Florida. Other than Osgood, the remaining unrestricted free agent options include Pascal Leclaire, Ty Conklin (who has spent time with the Red Wings in the past and has been mentioned as a possibility this offseason), Patrick Lalime, Marty Turco and Ray Emery. In all honesty, that's pretty interchangeable group.

Osgood, who turns 39 in November, was limited to 11 games last season because of injury and has appeared in just 34 games over the past two seasons, recording a .892 save percentage.

The potential Howard-Osgood-MacDonald trio isn't the greatest collection of goaltenders across the league, but goaltending hasn't really been the backbone of the franchise in the cap era. Instead, the Red Wings have loaded up on their forwards and defense and made smaller investments between the pipes.

Over the past three years, Detroit has been in the bottom-five in terms of the percentage of its payroll that's been invested in goalies (fifth lowest in 2008-09, third lowest in 2009-10 and fifth lowest in 2009-10) and currently has the smallest commitment for 2011-12.

Regardless of who the team signs to play behind Howard this season, its investment in goaltending isn't likely to be a significant one.

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Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 6:18 am
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Since: Jul 16, 2011
Posted on: July 16, 2011 8:30 pm
 

Questions about backup situation

First, the whole backup thing is taking quite a bit of time to resolve.  For the past two weeks there have been reports that nothing will be finalized before the team "confers with Osgood".  What is there to talk about?  What issues are sufficiently critical to the decision that everything else must be placed on hold?

Second, though Ty Conkin is being most prominently mentioned as the best "Plan B" option, have the Wings taken a look at his save percentage from the past season?  Based on his sub-90% numbers, isn't there reason to wonder if his performance level just may have slipped a bit as he has reached his mid 30's?

Ray Emery has shown up very well at times, and he's the youngest of those whose names have been tossed about as this matter has moved forward.  I recall one very impressive game that he played against the Wings, but he's also been prone to injuries, and there have been indications that he's not the most stable individual around the NHL.  I wouldn't be awfully disappointed if he becomes the choice, but we'd have to cross our fingers that he'd hold up with all that we'd need...and that's no sure thing.

I've also wondered about the recent rumor which says that "another team" has called the Wings to inquire about a possible trade which would bring in the backup that the Wings are looking for.  It has occured to me that the matter holding up the whole decision could be that the Wings are exploring the trade that is rumored to have been offered.

We should find out "later in the week" unless that point brings still another report that the decison is being postponed, once again, until "next week".




Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 9:58 pm
 

Detroit's options limited for backup goaltender

I agree.  I'll take a 40+ Hasek over all the other current options, except possibly Emery.  Possible injuries withstanding, Emery is heads and shoulders above the rest of these "pros".



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: July 12, 2011 9:57 pm
 

Detroit's options limited for backup goaltender

I agree.  I'll take a 40+ Hasek over all the other current options, except possibly Emery.  Possible injuries withstanding, Emery is heads and shoulders above the rest of these "pros".



Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: July 12, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Detroit's options limited for backup goaltender

The obvious choice for a back-up goalie would be Conklin since he's been with the Red Wings before and player that knows what the Red Wings' expectations are coming into the new season. After Conklin I would have to say Lalime,and Turco only because of the age factor when it comes down to Lalime and Turco. I just can't see "Ozzie" between the pipes for us this season and I feel that his time with the Red Wings is up!



Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Detroit's options limited for backup goaltender

I'm not sure what Ray Emery's condition is right now.  But as a backup goaltender and at a lower rate he could end up as a number one option where the rest of the goalies would be at best a backup who should only play a couple of games here and there.  I'll bet they bring back Osgood.  It is probably the reason they haven't signed a number 2 yet.



Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2011 11:22 pm
 

Detroit's options limited for backup goaltender

I think bringing back Conklin would be ideal as the most solid #2 offering. I think we could maybe get by with Ozzie as a #2 for one more year. The clock is definitely ticking to get a legitimate #2 asap.



Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2011 3:59 pm
 

Detroit's options limited for backup goaltender

Hasek might want to comback!!


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