July 18th, 2010, 10:56 am
We take you now to the front office meeting of the San Jose Sharks, where the determination is made about how to win the Stanley Cup. “I’ve got the answer,” one voice says. “Let’s sign Antero Nittymaki to be our goalie.” There is applause all around. This is, of course, fictional: Or is it? One of the deepest, strongest teams in hockey lost its No. 1 goalie and replaced him with Nittymaki. And this somehow makes them better? There is but one plausible explanation for this: John Ferguson Jr. works for the Sharks. The same man who traded Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft, believed in Justin Pogge and gave up multiple picks for Vesa Toskala. Must be Fergie. Otherwise, can someone please explain what GM Doug Wilson is thinking?
In the immortal words of Will Hunting, that’s a tough one, but I’ll take a shot. Maybe DW was thinking that it wasn’t too smart to sign a goalie with a mid-20s SV% ranking since the lockout to a multi-year deal worth 5 or more million dollars per year. Maybe he was thinking that both the Flyers and the Hawks has unproven goalies that weren’t making a lot of money, and yet both made it to the Stanley Cup. And maybe the scouts (and the GM) were tired of a goalie that made all-world saves in certain situations, but gave up 50-foot wrist shots in others. That a solid, butterfly style for less money is better than an acrobatic style for more money. That the real improvement needs to be made on blueline. Since the trades for Joe Thornton and Dan Boyle happened before JFJ got there, maybe DW is just treating him as another scout- a guy that watches players and evaluates them, making the trade and signing decisions himself. Nittymaki, after all, didn’t play for Toronto, or even in their division. If JFJ really had DW in his pocket, wouldn’t the Sharks have traded for Tim Thomas by now?