Sunday, August 19, 2007
ESPN.com actually has a interesting SportsNation hockey poll posted. I put the questions below with my answers starred and explanations next to them. If you want to vote, click here.
1) Which team made the best trade for a starting goalie?
**41.7% Florida Panthers - got Tomas Vokoun from Nashville - This one is a no brainer as Vokoun (when healthy) is a top five goaltender in the NHL, Toskala may not even start and Manny became overrated playing in the Wild system.
37.1% Toronto Maple Leafs - got Vesa Toskala from San Jose
21.2% Boston Bruins - got Manny Fernandez from Minnesota
2) Which team made the best free agent signing for a goalie?
29.2% Phoenix Coyotes (Alex Auld, David Aebischer)
23.5% Buffalo Sabres (Jocelyn Thibault)
17.9% Pittsburgh Penguins (Ty Conklin)
14.4% New Jersey Devils (Kevin Weekes)
13.0% Edmonton Oilers (Mathieu Garon)
**2.0% Chicago Blackhawks (Wade Flaherty) - Ok, so I picked the least popular option but watch out, Flaherty is a wise old veteran who will give the Hawks stability if he is called on. Phoenix signed two backup goalies who had bad years in 2006-07 and the rest of the goalies on this list are has-beens, even Weeksie who was unspectacular for most of his time in a Rangers jersey (the West Coast road trip last season being a lone, but important, exception).
3) Which team that will rely on a rookie as a backup will have the best season?
42.9% New York Rangers (Al Montoya)
**18.2% Minnesota Wild (Josh Harding) - I didn't pick us because I don't think Montoya should be our backup, Stevie Valiquette should. He won arguably the biggest game of the regular season last year (vs. St. Louis), so he should have a shot. And Josh Harding is an utterly stellar prospect and a good kid - read about him here. Montreal's kid Price will probably turn out to be the best of the bunch but, like Montoya, I don't think he will be the backup there - Jan Halak will.
16.2% San Jose Sharks (Dimitri Patzold/Thomas Greiss)
14.4% Montreal Canadiens (Carey Price)
8.3% Nashville Predators (Pekka Rinne)
4) Which team that didn't sign or trade for a starting or backup goalie should have?
48.4% Los Angeles Kings
14.8% Nashville Predators
13.7% Montreal Canadiens
8.4% San Jose Sharks
**7.5% Calgary Flames - If anything happens to Kipper, this team is screwed. That simple. The Kings will have Dan Cloutier healthy and will have Jason Labarbara out to prove something. Labarbara was spectacular last year but was stuck in the AHL due to waiver limitations. He should be able to take the job this season and hold onto it, while the fiery Cloutier pushes him for ice time.
7.2% Minnesota Wild
5) Which team's free agent loss hurts the most?
41.3% Los Angeles Kings (Mathieu Garon signs with Edmonton)
**31.5% Pittsburgh Penguins (Jocelyn Thibault signs with Buffalo) - I explained my thoughts about LA in the last question and the Pens in this case really have no one to push young Marc-Andre Fleury, oh he of the golden pads. Dany Sabourin is young and not very good, he looked like crap last season playing behind Roberto Luongo in Vancouver. We did fine without Weeksie and Jamie Mac's only noticeable accomplishment the last few seasons was this.
16.7% New York Rangers (Kevin Weekes signs with New Jersey)
10.6% Calgary Flames (Jamie McLennan off to Russia)
Total Votes: 6,006 (as of Sunday afternoon at 3:30)