Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Belfour in Detroit for Physical, Holland Considering the 41 Year Old

It looks like the Wings' tactic of waiting out the free agency market has led to Ed Belfour becoming a leading option in net. Belfour, 41, was in Detroit today to undergo a physical, and the results of MRI's on his knees and back will help Wings management with a decision. Belfour, who has a home in St. Clair, seems excited:
"I feel great, the rehab has gone real well. I’m very interested. I’ve always loved Detroit."
Holland clarifies his interest level:
"Depending on his health, we have some interest. He feels pretty optimistic about his back. Our doctors are going to look over him, and we’ll make a decision in the next couple of days...When he’s healthy and at his best, he’s a top goaltender."
Belfour was slated to make $4.5 million with Toronto next season, but was bought out so the Leafs could sign the younger, healthier goaltender in Andrew Raycroft, 26. The former Bruin was recently signed to a three year, $6 million deal, after the Leafs acquired him in a trade for goalie prospect
Tuukka Rask. It all makes me think, if Raycroft is good enough for the Leafs, why not for us? They aren't paying him all that much, and it's not like they traded away a top line player for him. We'd probably sign Belfour for around the salary Raycroft is getting, so I don't see the point in investing in a 41 year old goaltender over a 26 year old one. I'd rather have Hasek back instead, almost, if it weren't for the nature of his second stint here. Ken Holland has a lot of questions to answer. Maybe he'll use his new "special assistant" in Steve Yzerman as a point man on the answering to growing fan uncertainty. A2Y has a good take on Holland.


At 7/05/2006 06:57:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

I have no desire to see Hasek back in the Winged Wheel. I wish my last memories of him were the 2002 Cup but he ruined that with his return in 03-04. He's too injury prone and was apparently a nightmare in the lockerroom last time around and probably even the first time he was here.

Belfour currently has injury concerns that are about as bad as Dom's and he's also a chemistry killer. I hope they aren't overly serious about this because both of these guys are goalies I'd least like to see in Detroit.

At 7/05/2006 07:43:00 PM, Anonymous Gabriel P said...

I would tend to agree, Matt, but I give Dom a strong edge for three reasons:

1) At least he returned most of his pay after the fiasco he caused coming out of retirement.

2) He's led the Wings to a Cup in the past and is a known entity in the dressing room.

3) Most importantly, the numbers speak for themselves. All injuries being equal (one can hope), Dom posted a 28-10-4 season with a 2.09 GAA last year, vs. Belfour's appalling (by Detroit standards at least) 22-22-4 and a 3.29 GAA.

If he could just get healthy, Dom is playing better than most goalies in their prime.

On the other hand, there is another free agent who put up a 37-8-3 season last year with a 2.19. And, call me stupid but I'm not sold on the idea that he just can't get it done in the playoffs. Sure he imploded at the end, but so did Datsyuk and I don't see anyone packing HIS bags for him. All I know is that given a choice, I would MUCH rather watch 82 games next year with Manny in net than see either Hasek or Belfour in Detroit.

At 7/05/2006 08:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Gabriel with Hasek...(***NO OFFENSE TO THE BLOG AT ALL***)...But I know several people that absolutely hated Hasek after the groin injury...But, did we hate Yzerman for the knee injury? No. I guess maybe that's a harsh scenario and not comparable, but nonetheless Hasek put up the numbers before the those 14 games, he went 8-3-2 with a SV% of .907- pretty good if you ask me. If he would have had a season like 2-11-1 with a SV% of .766, then I wouldn't have minded the critizism.

Anyway, I completly agree with Belfour situation. Don't you think it's a huge gamble to pick up a goalie that's already 41 and coming back from a back injury? I say Howard and Osgood should split time in net until Howard has reached potential. Actually, Liv is said to be good, maybe we should give him a shot.

Or sign Manny. You are an idiot when it comes to hockey if you say he's the reason we lost the playoffs. He may have let in some soft shots, but were did our offense go in those six games? I don't know where, but it wasn't on the ice.

Sorry if this seems a little harsh, I don't mean it to sound that way. I guess it kinda got to me...I was thinking about that guy that kept chanting "Manny" in the comments...

Have a great day, and once again, I don't mean for this post to be harsh at all even though it may appear so.


At 7/05/2006 09:40:00 PM, Blogger Brian List said...

I say Howard and Osgood should split time in net until Howard has reached potential. Actually, Liv is said to be good, maybe we should give him a shot.

I agree on Howard and Osgood. That appears to be the best solution right now. Although that would change if Belfour is willing to sign for the reported $500K that the Wings would be offering him. It might be worth the risk and he could have a chip on his shoulder from just being bought out.

Or sign Manny. You are an idiot when it comes to hockey if you say he's the reason we lost the playoffs.

I would agree except I think Holland already burned that bridge with Manny through the media. It will be tough to assure Manny he has a starting position now that everyone is questioning his abilities and the Wings are activity searching outside the team for a starter.

I wonder if Legace has received any offers from other teams...he might not have many options out there.

It would be really awkward to have Hasek back on the team, to say the least. The Wings dressing room was split between Cujo and Hasek chemistry-wise, and after he retired the Wings basically had to push him out of the locker room. He kept on trying to hang out with the team but the Wings didn't want him around. I don't think the Wings are that desperate to sign Hasek.

You're right about offense in the playoffs. Maybe Holland can work in playoff goal bonuses into everyone's contracts to get them going.

At 7/05/2006 09:59:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

Gabriel and Firebird, the problem is, Dom is 41 as well and his groin has been an issue for two seasons now. Yzerman's knee was a long-standing problem that he demonstrated the ability to play through. Dom has not. I'd rather the Wings not bank on it being okay.

Yes, he had a great year with us in 2001-2002 but his second time around is not one of my better hockey memories, regardless of what his initial stats were.

Still, given a choice between the two, I'd take Hasek, if I had to. Belfour didn't earn the nickname "Crazy Eddie" for nothing and his back problem is a more complicated fix than Dom's groin.

At 7/05/2006 09:59:00 PM, Blogger Matthew Adler said...

Hasek hasn't finished a season since 2002. Belfour was injured this season but finished last season!
That in mind, I would rather have Legace.

At 7/05/2006 10:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree that Hasek shouldn't return...I was just saying I didn't mind him when he was here. But yes, he's old, just as Belfour is, and I don't think we should bank on that.

And about Manny, I have yet to hear about any offers from other teams.


At 7/07/2006 03:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just sign manny already

At 7/07/2006 09:54:00 PM, Blogger The Reddest Wing said...

I don't like either Belfour or Hasek but I fear they may be serious about Belfour. Between the two I would rather see them take Legace back. My one concern with that is that he had said this season that if they didn't take the cup he was sure he would be gone. You have to have more confidence in yourself than that. If it were up to me I would split with Osgood and Howard. Nothing better than playing in the NHL to get a goalie ready for the NHL.


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