If you’re a loyal resident of Thrasherville, you undoubtedly know by now that Manny Legace was released and sent off to find employment in the nets of some other team. Now, after hearing of the news, I must admit that my first thought was, “Certainly their must be a logical explanation for this decision”.
Well, I mean, that was my first thought right after, “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot”???
See, this is what I was trying to make sense of…
On one hand, you have Kari Lehtonen…dubbed our “goalie of the future” for the past seven years now…once again out due to pulled groin, flu, strained back, hangnail, split-ends, back surgery and won’t be able to start the season this Saturday. Heaven only knows when he’ll be healthy enough to return.
Then you have young Ondrej Pavelec…the newest “goalie of the future”…who has a career record of 6-10-0, 3.42 GAA, .890 SV% and zero shutouts…who last season, when called upon because of “Kari Down ‘08″, played to the numbers of 3-7-0, 3.60 GAA, .880 SV% and no shutouts…and who has seen 8 of the most recent 39 shots in four periods of preseason play get past him. Just last Sunday, five of the 26 shots faced needed to be pulled out of the net.
As I’ve opined here before, my confidence level in Pavs in not very high at all… and the game against the Bolts did nothing to ease my mind. Especially given that on Saturday we will be treated to a return visit by our Southeastern Division brethren for the first game of the regular season.
Sure, there is the reliable Moose in the back yard…but he’s dependable as a quality backup. He’s not the guy to have play eight-nine of your first ten or eleven games.
What are your thoughts on the Thrashers releasing Legace and going with Pavelec?
Total Voters: 157
But then…there is this Manny Legace dude who is dressing out in your locker room, practicing on your ice, who possesses a career mark of 177-92-18… with 18 ties to boot… a 2.38 GAA, .912 SV% and 23 shutouts, (which is only 2 less than Opie, Kari and the Moose combined).
He’s 36 years old…but his most recent three years of play in St. Luis has seen him put up a record of 63-49-15, 2.73 GAA, .901 SV% and 10 shutouts.
Why, given the current situation in goal, you count your lucky stars a guy like Legace is in camp for you to turn to in your time of need…right?
Apparently, you cut Legace and go with Opie.
So obviously then, this must mean that things are so good for you in goal…life is so exceptionally hunky-dory in the nets…you are sooooo confident in your current keeper situation…that you tell a Manny Legace type of player, “Ah, thanks big guy…but you’re just not gonna crack the lineup here. But here, please take this nice Thrashers schedule magnet for your refrigerator door and 10-year logo lapel pin as a token of our esteemed gratitude for trying out”.
But somehow…I just think there is something more to this than meets the eye.
Maybe the money issue wasn’t something the two parties could come together one.
Maybe Legace didn’t want to accept a 2-way contract, fearing a return to the AHL once Kari…knocking wood…is healthy enough to not only start but complete the rest of the season…don’t laugh.
Hey, maybe he was holding out for Don Waddell’s parking spot, a personal company car with Thrashers decals on the sides and member of the Blue Crew as a chauffeur.
Or maybe…just maybe…Don Waddell, Rick Dudley and John Anderson honestly and for-true felt that Opie and the Moose are the duo to see us through “Kari Down ’09″. And after all, let’s not forget what it cost the Thrashers to bring him in and have a look-see at him.
Regardless, do you think that there will be any ramifications or, shall we say, any lasting…ahem…legacies of the team cutting Manny loose at this time? Do you fear the team will not get off to as good of a start as I and many others have thought it could have? Or will Pavelec finally take this opportunity to step up and prove he is the goalie the franchise trusts he can be?