Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hip Hip Jose?

It's been almost two days since the "controversial," signing of G Jose Theodore.
While the first reaction was the typical " knee jerk, mass hysteria, we're all going to die," fever that sweeps Capitals fans when things go awry.
It also seems to be leveling into a "oh that makes a lot of sense, not a bad move!" sort of situation.
It's hard to justify a four year, 5.6 million a year contract for Huet.
In 13 games for the Caps, Huet won 11, lost twice, and had a 1.63 GAA.
It's impressive but when the Capitals entered the playoffs versus the Flyers, the "Cristowall," began to crumble.
Huet managed a .909 save percentage, but fans were not pleased, even at times clamoring for Olie Kolzig to return to net.
Over his total career, Huet has yet to win a playoff series, going 5-8, with a .918 save percentage and 2.65 GAA.
For a goaltender who just now reached a 50+ game load (across two teams), nor won a playoff series, a 4.5 million dollar contract over three years seems fine.
But change that to what Huet is getting from Chicago and suddenly it's not such a good deal.
Here's why Theodore seems like the better deal.
While Theodore's career stats have been tarnished by two sub-par seasons after the lockout, his playoff career is full of experience. He has progressed past the first round. (something Ted Leonsis and Huet have not done)
In 45 playoff games, Theodore carries a record of 19 and 24. He owns a 2.44 GAA and a .917 save percentage. Theodore has obviously progressed deeper in the playoffs, and against much tougher competition.
Honestly, who wants a date with the Red Wings in the secound round? Do you think Huet would have done any better? Are the Flyers even comparable to the Red Wings?
While both goaltenders are on the losing end with their playoff records, a younger goalie with more playoff experience is by all means better than an older goalie with less. Especially when the gap between the two is a million dollars.
Let's also factor that one goalie is re-energized, ready to play, excited about his new opportunity, while the other dragged negotiations out to the last minute, only to turn his nose and go elsewhere.
I'd rather take Theodore, who is every bit as good as Huet, for less money, and know that he put our club at the top of his "want to play for," list.
Last time we signed a player who was doing it for the money, we chased him out of town, and boo the very mention of his name. (cough Jagr) I'd rather a player who wants to be here, even if he's had a few rough seasons, than what could be a one month wonder, who ends up over paid and phoning it in.
Huet left the negotiation table, not GMGM. We gave him what he wanted, and he walked.
I hope he enjoys fighting for a #1 spot again, because I find it hard to believe that Nikolai Khabibulin (who had a comparable season to Huet, while playing on non playoff team!) will just be forgotten, especially with his large contract.
At this point, despite Huet making more money it's his loss. He could have been the guaranteed #1 goalie, but now all bets are off in Chicago.
It's Huet's loss and the Caps one million dollar gain.
Now let's use that money to sign Fedorov, Laich, Fehr and change the Verizon Center's concession signs so they now offer "Freedom Fries."

- CapsKremlin


  1. Welcome to the blogosphere...

    As a Caps fan living in Denver, I'm not thrilled with the Theodore acquisition - but it just might work. And Let's face it. We're currently in "Any Port in a Storm" mode.

    Coach Q was constantly juggling goalies, making it hard for either Budaj or Theodore to get into a groove.

    And you talk about the tough task of playing the Wings in the 2nd round - well the Avs had injuries upon injuries. There was no way they were going to win that series - Ryan Smyth, Paul Stastny, Wolski (laugh if you want, but he can finish big time - just don't look at his assists), and Forsberg - rarely available.

    So the playoff loss can't be put on Theodore's shoulders.

    As long as we score tons of goals, we should be alright...

  2. Well honestly, and JP put it best, the Caps played amazing since Boudreau took over and that was with BJ and Kolzig in net. The Capitals late surge to make the playoffs was helped by Huet, but he doesn't deserve all the credit.

    Backstrom went on a tear in Jan and then on.
    Mike Green fired up.
    We all know how Ovechkin played.
    Brooks Laich started getting trash goals.

    It was a total team effort. Let Theo spend a summer with the team, motivated and ready to prove himself, who knows where we end up. I'm not going to go out and say Theodore will make us completely forget about Huet, but let's face it, for 3 months, we didn't have Huet and we did pretty good I'd say.


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