Friday, July 07, 2006

Legace Left Waiting: "No calls, nothing at this point"

Unrestricted free agent Manny Legace, 33, who finished fifth in Vezina voting with 37 wins, a 2.19 GAA, and a .915 save percentage, has not gotten any interest on the free agent market. Says Manny:
"It's just mind-boggling. I thought for sure there'd be interest from somebody after the year I had. But nothing. I don't know what to think. And I don't know what teams are thinking...I thought I had a great year to be honest with you. I thought I'd get some interest but nothing, no one has called...To be honest, I don't know what's going to happen...I'm willing to do anything on any team. Ideally I'd like to go to a team where at least I'd have a chance to compete for the No. 1 job. That's all I'm probably looking for now, a chance to compete."

Legace's agent, Ed Ratushny, had to start making phone calls to get the process started:
"We have started preliminary discussions with two teams. But what I find surprising was the bidding for Martin Gerber as compared to Manny."

Florida and St. Louis are reported to be teams that could pick up Legace. Manny also took time to describe the phone call he got in early June from Ken Holland, in which he learned that the team was looking for another starter:

"It was a shocking phone call. I thought we could work something out. It was just disappointing. That was tough because I loved playing in Detroit, it was awesome. That was the best owner I've ever played for, a great organization...But they were very classy about it, they didn't throw me out like an old newspaper. We talked and they made me understand they wanted to go in another direction...I think they were really going after Gerber. Mike Babcock wanted one of his old goalies there and that's understandable, coaches want their own guys. It's unfortunate they didn't get him...I think now they're looking at probably (Ed) Belfour or bring back Dom (Hasek). That's what I foresee for them."

It really makes no sense that Legace has gotten no offers yet. To think he has fallen this far from grace since early April, when he likely could've been traded for a top-line player, is just shocking. Sure, his 4-6 record in playoff games is not all that great. But 14 teams missed the playoffs last season, and Legace could, at the very least, help those teams in getting into the playoffs. He's a lot better of an option than most of the remaining goaltenders out there now, and it's unfortunate that Ken Holland burned bridges with Legace and then missed out on much of the free agent goaltenders available. I would not be totally against Legace re-signing with the Wings, as the Wings offense bears much of the blame for recent playoff losses.


At 7/08/2006 02:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I got an idea...

Howabout we sign him?


At 7/08/2006 04:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is better??? Stefan Liv or Jimmy Howard???

At 7/08/2006 04:48:00 PM, Anonymous Megan said...

Manny is a great goaltender, but I can almost see why no one has talked to him. And it's not because of his playoff failures. It's because of his comments about himself. Who wants a goaltender who has no confidence in his ability to stop the puck?
That being said, I'd still prefer him over Dom or Belfour.

At 7/08/2006 11:51:00 PM, Anonymous Gabriel said...

I agree Megan, a lot of quality netminders have failed to perform in the playoffs, but few have worn their feelings on their sleeve as clearly as Manny did. I remember looking at him lying on the ice, not getting up after that Oiler goal, and just felt bad for the rest of the Wings having to watch that too. That had to have been a huge blow to their overall confidence in him, much more so than the goal.

But maybe this experience of temporarily being "unwanted" might harden him up a bit...for his sake I hope so.

At 7/09/2006 02:43:00 PM, Anonymous bn said...

I'm gonna' go out on a limb and give Babcock some of the blame. He ignored the fact that Legace himself didn't even beleive he was ready--what was Babcock thinking keeping by him in? If a goalie is that inconfident in himself, you don't keep him in with hopes that the team can give him pep-talks to rebuild his esteem. That's a huge weight to put on the team, and a goalie who knows (or thinks) that he's not ready (skill-wise and mentally). So what do you do when you have a less-than-confident goalie? You put a different goalie in. Common sense.

If I wasn't being taken seriously by my coach when I had a bit of doubt, I'd probably talk a bit much too. But I agree, he shouldn't have made it as public perhaps, especially the comment that he wanted to go hang himself.


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