Wednesday, October 01, 2003

CuJo Returns and the List

Goalie Curtis Joseph returned to the ice yesterday for the first time since the playoffs. The situation obviously was (and is) a very awkward one. Hasek left the ice soon after Joseph came on and neither one said anything to the other. Joseph said "I'm not bitter at all. Hockey has been too good for me and my family to be bitter. I still have lots of goals and lots of hockey to play." He seems to have taken this pretty well, at least from what we fans can see. Wojo made a good point today in his column,
"Joseph will be asked to stop pucks for a team whose current plan is to win the Stanley Cup without him. The team will be asked to support a goalie who could be gone at any time."
I think the Wings are professional and veteran enough to get around this and do what needs to be done. Joseph will play some for the Wings this year and they will carry three goalies. Lewis will need to figure out how to get Hasek in enough to get rid of his rust and Joseph in enough to sell him to other teams. Not an easy job, especially since they both thrive on playing time. This won't be a fun year for Manny Legace either. The Wings announced their unprotected list today. Curtis Joseph is one of 7 players that will remain unprotected for the waiver draft on Friday. The others are goalie Marc Lamonthe; defenseman Jamie Rivers; and forwards Derek King, Kevin Miller, Mark Mowers and Michel Picard. Leaving Joseph unprotected is somewhat of a risk because he can be taken by anyone in the league. The Wings would have no say. The only thing keeping the Avs from taking Joseph, for example, is his high salary. It's unlikely they will take him because though they do want him, they aren't prepared to take on $16 million without dropping a player already on their roster. They'd rather get CuJo in a trade, where they can have the Wings or, in the case of a three-way trade (entirely possible), another team pay a chunk of his salary. So don't worry.


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