Here we are nearly a week in to free agency and many Red Wings fans are getting antsy over the lack of a backup for number one net minder Jimmy Howard.
With the UFA market dwindling with Goaltenders there are a few options left:
Do the Wings bring back their 400 win goaltender? I hope not. As an Osgood supporter I have gone to battle many times for Ozzie about how good of a goaltender he is; but it is time to part ways – at least as a player. He had a huge setback with his lack of recovery from injury. Remember all the goaltending drama last season with players being signed to one-day trial contracts just to sit on the bench and the McGoalies (Joey MacDonald and Thomas McCollum) being bounced around between Detroit and Grand Rapids because of Osgood’s touch and go playing status.
Osgood should stay with the organization. Make him a goaltending coach in Grand Rapids (or rotating between the two teams) where he can continue is mentoring of Jimmy Howard but also be there for McCollum who is lets face it a-young-impressionable-player.
With the supply and demand of goaltenders in the NHL right now would it be a bad idea to bring back Conklin? He did well with his stint with the Red Wings in the past. Sure he was not spectacular – but he was a good backup for Osgood and I do not see a reason why he would not be for Howard.
Since he left the Red Wings to make room for Howard Conks has been with the St. Louis Blues and has not had solid seasons; but take a look at the source. After his first season with them they randomly replaced his partner heading into free agency with Jarvoslav Halak out of Montreal. Remember that? Remember all the hullabaloo over what a huge mistake it was for the Canadiens to trade him to the Blues; and how much better the Blues were going to be this past season because of it? Neither goalies had a good season – the team did not have a good season. Put the Red Wings back in front of Conklin and I think things will be fine.
In 2008-09 Conklin played 40 games (37 starts) with Detroit and went 25-11-2 with a 2.51 GAA and a 0.909 Save Percentage.
In his first season with the Blues he played in 26 games (21 starts) with a 10-10-2 record with a GAA of 2.48 and a Save Percentage of 0.921
This past season Conklin saw 25 games (20 starts) going 8-8-4 with a 3.22 GAA and a 0.881 Save Percentage.
After spending nearly a decade with the Dallas Stars last summer they decided to part ways with him (along with Mike Modano) and saw Turco end up in Chicago with the Blackhawks (rather than the Wolves).
Turco has gone from having 74 games played (74 starts) in the 2008-09 season with the Stars to having 29 games played (27 starts) last season with the Blackhawks when he went 11-11-3 with a 3.02 Goals Against Average and 0.897 Save Percentage.
After being diagnosed with avascular necrosis and having a bone graft in early 2010 Emery signed with the Anaheim Ducks just shy of a year later when he became another one of Dan Ellis problems and took over in net while Ducks number one goalie Jonas Hiller was out with a vertigo. While he only played in 10 regular season games he posted a 7-2-0 record with a 2.28 GAA and a 0.925 Save Percentage and lead the Ducks into the playoffs where he played in six more games and went 2-3. The question is like with Osgood – is the injury too much? Will it be re aggravated and cost the Wings a backup mid season?
McKenna has played in 17 NHL games with 15 of those being starts. His record in the NHL is 4-9-1 and has a GAA 3.49 and a 0.887 Save Percentage.
But hey he uses Twitter to talk to the fans and even allowed fans to pick out his pad set!
Not sure if the New York Islanders would give him up though as they still seem a little bitter about everything last year. Just keep in mind out there on Long Island that he had signed here in Detroit and you took him off of waiver (which was your right). Sure he probably should have just sucked it up and shown up; but he had the right to not too – and he didn’t. Now we are heading into the second season of this mess and the games continue is that really a headache you want to deal with out there? Don‘t you have other things to concern yourself with than a player that do not want to play for you? If there is one thing you learn as a parent it is to pick your battles; however, it is always good to have one team out there acting like they are still in high school to make things interesting.
Part of the self destructing Philadelphia Flyers, 30 year old Leighton is heading into the last year of his contact and is set to make $1,600,000. Maybe the Wings can work out another trade with the Flyers like they did with Ville Leino… Jiri Hudler for Leighton anyone?