Prospect Profile: #11 Joacim Eriksson

Patrick Johnston
August 16 2013 10:30AM


Image via Matthew Henderson

"Swedish goalies, unite!"

It's a little-known fact that one of the reasons Mike Gillis was hired as Canucks GM is his Swedish-goalie power ring. It's useful in finding big Swedish dudes who want to stop pucks for a living and are highly regarded across the board.

I kid of course (about the ring part). The rest is true. Joacim Eriksson is big, and he's highly regarded.

How highly regarded? Click past the jump to find out.

Originally drafted by the Flyers an eight-round pick all the way back in '08, Eriksson never came to terms with the Broad Streeters and instead stayed in Sweden, looking for wild game. He spent two years as Jacob Markstrom's backup, something that could have been his whole story, the highlight of his career - "hey, remember those two years where I didn't play but the guy in front went to the NHL? Those were sweet."

Thankfully, well for his sake anyway, Eriksson has a little more ambition than that. He moved on from a very successful junior career with Brynas to Leksand, in the 2nd-tier Swedish Allsvenskan. That gave him a regular job in a senior men's league. And that's where he truly began to flourish. 

The following season he made the move from Skelltefea of the Elitserien, which proved to be a smart career choice. He has now registered back-to-back sub-2.00 GAA and, more importantly, a save percentage well above .930. Skelltefea also won the whole kit and kaboodle this year, on the back of Eriksson's dominance in net.

So, what do we know? He's Swedish, he's had success at home and there have been a bevy of successful Swedish goalies in the past decade. Certainly he could be great.

But will he?

Six teams were said to be in the hunt for him this summer, after his championship turn. The 'why Vancouver?' part leads only to speculation, but the facts are that: 1. Eddie Lack is coming off of hip surgery and 2. The Canucks only have one other goalie - Roberto Luongo - ready to play in the NHL.

From the Canucks' perspective the math was pretty straightforward: Lu is going to be the guy, Lack is probably number 2, so take a flyer on your number 3. You can never have too many chips in your hand. Bring in Eriksson to be the number 3; maybe he steals Lack's job, maybe he's ready in a year, maybe he lets you make a goalie move somewhere down the line.

When Eriksson signed with the Canucks back in June, Drance noted that there was a chance that Eriksson could make the jump straight to backup status. Of course, we also thought Cory Schneider was going to be the goalie back then. It's still very possible that Eriksson earns a spot out of camp as the team's backup, but for that to happen, he would have to seriously outplay the incumbent, Eddie Lack. We'll get more into this when Lack gets profiled next week, so hang tight.

Speaking to the Vancouver Sun after the signing, Laurence Gilman revealed that the team has had Eriksson on their radar for more than a year; they tried to sign him last year, in fact.

One final point point: there've not been many Swedish goalies who have made the jump directly from Sweden to the NHL. Henrik Lundqvist did, but of course he is also at the top of the heap. Is Eriksson a Lundqvist-calibre goalie? No one is saying he is, but no one really seems to know quite what Eriksson's ceiling might be. The only thing that has drawn consensus is he's good enough to play in the big leagues; the question now is "when". It could be this year, or we could have to wait another year.

Why did the Flyers let him go, if he's that close to make the jump? It's the Flyers, who knows.

Other Prospect Profiles in This Series:

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Patrick Johnston is a Vancouver journalist. In addition to regular contributions here at Canucks Army, his work has appeared in The Province, Hockey Now and on the CBC. Check out his blog and other writing at http://johnstonwrites.wordpress.com or follow him on twitter: @risingaction
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#1 elvis15
August 16 2013, 01:22PM
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Another good free agent find by Gillis, say what you want about him but we've been much more involved in going after young talent that was either undrafted or hit free agency before playing in the NHL. We've even at least been involved in talks for other players who could make an impact, although they're much harder to acquire in a cap world.

I have a good feeling on Eriksson, and once he adjusts to the smaller North American rinks I think he'll flourish. I'd put his ceiling slightly higher than Lack's as well, but we'll be better able to evaluate that once we see him play over here.

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#2 Ted
August 16 2013, 02:40PM
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Yeah good addition by Gillis. I think our GM's stock is falling but he has been doing some good. Nice add here.

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#3 NM00
August 16 2013, 03:01PM
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The Canucks will be in a precarious position if this is, in fact, Roberto Luongo’s last season in Van City.

Is there another potential starting goaltender currently in the organization?

The Canucks signed Eddie Lack as a free agent after all 30 teams passed on him as a 21 year old at the 2009 draft.

I have gone through the top 30 qualified goaltenders by save percentage in each season since the salary cap was implemented in 2005-2006. With 8 seasons in the books, that gives us 240 goaltender seasons.

30 of these 240 goaltender seasons belong to 11 different undrafted goaltenders.

These undrafted goalies fall into 3 categories: North American starters, North American backups and European goaltenders.

The goaltender’s name is followed by the season and rank in that season amongst the top 30 qualified goaltenders by save percentage.

North American Starters

Roloson: 05-06 (15), 06-07 (19), 08-09 (17), 09-10 (27), 10-11 (25) Joseph: 05-06 (21)

North American Backups

Sanford: 05-06 (16), 11-12 (29) Conklin: 07-08 (2), 08-09 (29) Danis 08-09 (26) Scrivens: 12-13 (20)

European Goalies

Backstrom: 06-07 (1), 07-08 (8), 08-09 (4), 10-11 (18), 11-12 (13), 12-13 (25) Hiller: 08-09 (6), 09-10 (10), 10-11 (4), 11-12 (30), 12-13 (21) Niemi: 09-10 (20), 10-11 (12), 11-12 (22), 12-13 (7) Bobrovsky: 10-11 (22), 12-13 (2) Fasth: 12-13 (11)

Curtis Joseph and Dwayne Roloson were both draft eligible in the 1980s. They may very well represent the last undrafted North Americans to have multiple seasons as a starting goaltender.

It would be completely shocking, for example, if Ben Scrivens actually becomes a starting goaltender in the current NHL environment. North America is simply too thoroughly scouted for a potential starter to slip through the cracks.

But the European goalies are more intriguing.

Though the sample is still fairly small for Viktor Fasth and defending Vezina trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky, all 5 undrafted European goaltenders in the salary cap era may very well be starters.

Niklas Backstrom, Jonas Hiller and Antti Niemi have already had multiple seasons as starting goaltenders.

However, none of these goaltenders is all that comparable to the 25 year old Lack.

Aside from Bobrovsky, the other 4 undrafted European goaltenders will all be over the age of 30 on opening night.

As I will show later, each of these goalies aside from Bobrovsky were acquired when finding quality European goalies late in the draft or outside of the draft was realistic.

And while finding Bobvrosky represents a major win for Philadelphia and, by extension, Columbus, there was a unique circumstance that explains why he went undrafted.

As Flyers GM Paul Holmgren says, Bobrovsky was on their radar at the 2006 draft as a 17 year old but they passed because of the difficulty in signing Russians:

http://flyers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=542686

Next on the Canuck goalie depth chart is the recently signed Joacim Eriksson. He was originally drafted in the 7th round and 196th overall in 2008.

After 3 years in the Philadelphia organization, the Flyers decided not to tender him a contract by June 2011 and he became a free agent at the age of 21.

The following goaltenders were drafted in the 7th round or later and have put up at least one season as a top 30 qualified goaltender by save percentage in the salary cap era.

The goaltender name is followed by the round drafted and overall draft number:

Legace (8-188), Hasek (10-199), Khabibulin (9-204), Lundqvist (7-205), Norrena (7-213), Huet (7-214), Clemmensen (8-215), Thomas (9-217), Hedberg (9-218), Nabokov (9-219), Vokoun (9-226), Gerber (8-232), Rinne (8-258), Halak (9-271), Elliott (9-291)

Aside from Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott, all of these goaltenders are over the age of 30. They come from an era when finding a starting goalie late in the draft was realistic. This is espescially true in regards to European goaltenders.

However, all but 4 of these goalies made their NHL debut with the same team that drafted them.

Here are the 4 exceptions:

Manny Legace (8-188) was drafted by Hartford in 1993 and made his NHL debut with Los Angeles in 1998-1999.

Tim Thomas (9-217) was drafted by Quebec in 1994 and made his NHL debut with Boston in 2002-2003.

Johan Hedberg (9-218) was drafted by Philadelphia in 1994 and made his NHL debut with Pittsburgh in 2000-2001.

Fredrik Norrena (7-213) was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2002 and made his NHL debut with Columbus in 2006-2007.

Aside from Norrena, who was never a starting goalie, the rest of these goalies were drafted in the 1990s and are not particularly relevant to the current goaltending landscape.

The more notable late-round drafted goalies in the salary cap era such as Henrik Lundqvist Lundqvist (7-205) & Pekka Rinne (8-258) each made their NHL debut with the team that drafted them.

New York and Nashville valued these goalies enough to keep them in their organizations and both teams made the correct decision.

And while it’s counterintuitive to appeal to the authority of Philadelphia when it comes to goaltending evaluations, Eriksson was in the Flyers organization for 3 years and they did not value him enough to tender him a contract as a 21 year old.

Nothing in the recent history of the NHL suggests a goaltender can follow the above career path and become an NHL starter.

Not much needs to be said about Joe Cannata (6-173 in 2009).

He is not a prospect. He is an organizational player.

The only North American goalies in the salary cap era to put up a top 30 qualified save percentage season being drafted that late are Manny Legace (8-188 in 1993), Tim Thomas (9-217 in 1994), Scott Clemmensen (8-215 in 1997) and Brian Elliott (9-291 in 2003).

Aside from Elliott, who is more backup than starter, there are no other recent examples of North American goaltenders being drafted in the 6th round or later and putting up a noteworthy season.

Every now and then an organizational player such as Elliott or Scrivens becomes an NHL backup.

But it would be incomprehensible for a potential North American starting goaltender to fall that far down in the draft or go undrafted in the present day.

So where are NHL goalies coming from these days?

Since 2010-2011, 41 of the 90 qualified goaltending seasons by save percentage have come from 22 goalies that will be under the age of 30 on opening day in 2013-2014:

Fleury (1-1), Lehtonen (1-2), Price (1-5), Dubnyk (1-14), Rask (1-21), Varlamov (1-23), Ward (1-25), Schneider (1-26), Neuvirth (2-34), Harding (2-38), Pavelec (2-41), Crawford (2-52), Howard (2-64), S. Mason (3-69), Quick (3-72), Bishop (3-85), Holtby (4-93), Reimer (4-99), Halak (9-271), Elliot (9-291), Bobrovsky (undrafted) & Scrivens (undrafted)

Some of these goaltenders are merely good backups and fringe starters.

But it’s pretty clear where starting goaltenders under the age of 30 are coming from today: the top 2 rounds in particular and the top 4 rounds in general.

Much like the chances of finding a North American starter such as Joseph outside of the draft is no longer practical, finding a European starter outside of the top 2-4 rounds has also all but disappeared.

Europe is too comprehensively scouted today.

It should also be noted that the two exceptions (Bobrosvky and Halak) were both “passed over” at the ages of 17 and 18 respectively.

All 30 NHL teams passed on Lack as a 21 year old at the 2009 draft.

And Eriksson was non-tendered at age 21 before signing at age 23 as the 2nd best European free agent goalie prospect behind Antti Raanta.

This potentially represents a major problem for the Canucks if Luongo is traded or bought out at the end of the season.

With Cory Schneider (1-26) traded and David Honzik (3-71) not tendered a contract, the Canucks do not have a top 4 round goalie under the age of 30 anywhere in their organization.

Along with the team that employs King Henrik, Vancouver is the only other NHL franchise in this situation:

ANA (Andersen 3-87), BOS (Rask 1-21), BUF (Enroth 2-46), CAL (Gillies 3-75), CAR (Ward 1-25), CHI (Crawford 2-52), COL (Varlamov 1-23), CBJ (Dansk 2-31), DAL (Lehtonen 1-2), DET (Howard 2-64), EDM (Dubnyk 1-14), FLA (Markstrom 2-31), LAK (Quick 3-72), MIN (Harding 2-38), MTL (Price 1-5), NAS (Hellberg 2-38), NJD (Schneider 1-26), NYI (Nilsson 3-62), NYR (N/A), OTT (Lehner 2-46), PHI (Stolarz 2-45), PHO (Visentin 1-27), PIT (Fleury 1-1), SJ (Sateri 4-106), STL (Allen 2-34), TBL (Bishop 3-85), TOR (Bernier 1-11), VAN (N/A), WAS (Holtby 4-93), WIN (Pavelec 2-41)

Based on where NHL goalies under the age of 30 are coming from these days, it is surprising that the Canucks did not add a goaltender lottery ticket in the top 2-4 rounds after trading Schneider at the 2013 draft.

Because the chances of getting an NHL starting goaltender from an undrafted European, late round and subsequently non-tendered European and late round North American are extremely slim these days.

For the most part, NHL teams have not been letting starting goaltenders slip past the top 100 or so picks.

Considering how thoroughly North America and Europe are scouted these days, it would be surprising to see a major shift from this trend going forward.

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#4 BrudnySeaby
August 16 2013, 03:34PM
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@ NM00, well there is always the inevitable exception to the rule and that could be an Eriksson.

But I take your overall point. And once again it proves that trading Schneider and keeping Luongo was a not so smart, and short sighted, move that might have serious implications one season down the road.

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#5 Ted
August 16 2013, 03:47PM
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There was no way we were keeping both goalies.

There was no way we were buying out Lu's contract. Way too much $. No one wanted Lu's contract especially this year when the cap went down.

We had to get an asset and deal 1 of the goalies. Our system has very few blue chip prospects.

Gillis backed himself into a corner and did what he had to do.

I really doubt Lu gets moved anytime soon but it's a possibility. Good move in getting this prospect and developing them. We have the time.

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#6 JFR
August 16 2013, 05:33PM
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Next year Lack and Eriksson could be battling for the Canucks starting job. Canucks still have a buyout in their pocket in case Luo is half hearted on just average and there is a clause in Luo's contract that after this year he can ask to be traded to 4 teams. The new team could get around the final few years of Luo's contract by putting him on Long term IR, ala Pronger. These GM's always put clauses that can be parachutes. S both the club and Luo have options after this season.Thank goodness Roberto wants to Rep Canada at the Olympics...so we will get his best from The jump.

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#7 NM00
August 16 2013, 05:43PM
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@Ted

There's a clause in Luongo's contract after next season that allows him to request a trade:

http://www.theprovince.com/sports/hockey/canucks-hockey/Canucks+Luongo+level+happiness+what+matters/8789961/story.html

Not sure exactly how it would work if nobody wants the contract.

Or if nobody offers anything good for Lou.

But the drama is far from over.

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#8 NM00
August 16 2013, 05:45PM
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JFR wrote:

Next year Lack and Eriksson could be battling for the Canucks starting job. Canucks still have a buyout in their pocket in case Luo is half hearted on just average and there is a clause in Luo's contract that after this year he can ask to be traded to 4 teams. The new team could get around the final few years of Luo's contract by putting him on Long term IR, ala Pronger. These GM's always put clauses that can be parachutes. S both the club and Luo have options after this season.Thank goodness Roberto wants to Rep Canada at the Olympics...so we will get his best from The jump.

It obviously depends on how they perform this season...

But betting on a Lack/Eriksson tandem to provide even league average goaltending in 2014-2015 is putting a lot of faith in scratch and win tickets.

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#9 NM00
August 16 2013, 05:51PM
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@BrudnySeaby

Both Eriksson and Lack absolutely could be exceptions to the rule.

These were free assets. I am glad Gillis added them to the organization.

However, gambling on goaltending "exceptions" without a safety net is a big risk.

There are only 60 goalie jobs in the NHL.

There are maybe 20 legit starting goalies in the league at any given time.

Unlike at forward and defense, the competition in goal is very stiff due to the limited number of chairs.

A Luongo/Lack/Eriksson depth chart in 2013-2014 is pretty good. I expect the Canucks to get above average goaltending.

But relying on Lack/Eriksson/Cannata and free agency to fill out the 2014-2015 depth chart could be very dangerous.

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#10 PB
August 16 2013, 08:42PM
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@NM00

Very interesting analysis. I think it suggests that the Canucks should pick up a goalie in the earlier rounds in next year's draft. I'm not sure that I'd agree that they should have gone for one in the skater-rich draft this year, though, especially if the Canucks have Luongo (for all his flaws a proven starter with likely 3-5 high calibre years left in him and likely a further 3 as he slides into his dotage) with a quality backup (assuming Lack recovers from injury) and a couple of decent prospects in the minors -- I'm definitely higher on Cannata than just as a depth candidate that you've described him as.

This year saw 3 goalies go in the second round, 3 in the third and 4 in the fourth. We didn't have a second round pick thanks to the Roy trade and all three in the 3rd went before the Canucks picked Cassels. You could argue that we should've gone for one in the 4th but I think Subban was a higher value pick than any goalie we could have gotten there. I think the goalie crop was relatively weak this year and I would suggest that restocking the goal position was not nearly as important as getting more potential top-six and a few high risk-high reward prospects to test out.

I take your main point that better goalies are drafted in higher rounds. But I think we've seen too many poor choices in taking supposed needs over talent that I'm glad the Canucks didn't go for a goalie this year.

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#11 NM00
August 16 2013, 10:09PM
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@PB

While I'm generally against a team being forced to draft a goalie, the depth chart behind Lou are a number of exceptions to the recent rules on starting goalies.

I think the Canucks have made a mistake by only drafting one goalie in the top 4 rounds since 2008.

And it may very well hurt them if this is Lou's last year in Vancouver or if Lou turns into a pumpkin.

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#12 Ruprecht
August 16 2013, 11:04PM
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You can't argue the fact that the kid comes in to our organization on a roll. It's not like the Swedish Elite League is some scrub men's league. His numbers are great for any league and he comes into camp after helping a team win a championship. It's totally worth the contract to see if he can continue his success in North America. Heck even I'm curious.

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#13 Peachy
August 17 2013, 12:04AM
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@NM00

I'm not convinced...

For reference, I believe that the first goalie Pronman (not the be all-end-all, just an example of a reputable source) had in 2013 was Fucale at 90ish. It's well known at this point that goalies are a crapshoot at best, and generally not worthy of high picks. See MA Fleury et al.

The Canucks goalie pipeline is full at the pro pevel, and they have three prospects with strong shots at NHL back-up or better level performance. Expecting one of three to deliver league-average level goaltending for the next 5 plus years (given that Luongo can be expected to deliver league average or better as a starter for the next 3-5) is not unrealistic.

It's also been proven that solid (not spectacular) goaltending can be had cheap if it all goes to hell. See Vokoun.

They could definitely use another junior prospect, but it's not the end of the world. The Canucks have far more pressing prospect needs. See impact forwards to replace the Sedins.

As Luongo's situation has ably demonstrated, goaltending just isn't as valued as it used to be.

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#14 Ted
August 17 2013, 12:20AM
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@NM00

Not too concerned about Lu or his happiness. This situation with him is getting tiresome. He has to accept some responsibility for this mess. I'd love to see him go and I would be happy signing another keeper; maybe Lack or Erikkson will be ready by next year. Who knows.

That 'out' clause is almost meaningless. They've been trying to deal him for over a year. I'm sure they'll continue to do so.

I rewind to recent playoffs involving Lu and I shudder. He melts down and is inconsistent. Our Cup run was nerve wracking and Lu was beyond shaky. I'm ready to move on as well and could care less who goes in net. We're not winning for a while and it'll be worth it to get rid of the Lu drama.

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#15 NM00
August 17 2013, 12:01PM
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@Peachy

Just to be clear, the main point wasn't that the Canucks absolutely should have drafted a goalie in 2013.

It would likely take, at minimum, 4 years for this goalie to make an NHL impact anyway.

"The Canucks goalie pipeline is full at the pro pevel, and they have three prospects with strong shots at NHL back-up or better level performance."

Based on what exactly?

Look at the starting goalies around the league that will be under the age of 30 on opening day.

There are 2 guys in Bobrovsky and Halak that were selected outside of the top 100 picks.

That's it.

And both of those guys were overlooked at age 17 and 18 respectively.

That's not even remotely comparable to Lack and Eriksson being passed over at age 21.

"It's also been proven that solid (not spectacular) goaltending can be had cheap if it all goes to hell. See Vokoun."

That's a cherry picked example that happened last summer.

More of an exception than the rule, I'd say.

The Canucks could just as easily be in a Calgary, Philadelphia or Tampa Bay situation if they don't grow their own goaltending.

"As Luongo's situation has ably demonstrated, goaltending just isn't as valued as it used to be."

The Luongo situation has not demonstrated this in the least.

All it has demonstrated is that his contract is difficult to move.

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#16 NM00
August 17 2013, 12:20PM
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@Ted

Goalie A has a .937 playoff save percentage having stopped 657 of 701 shots.

Goalie B has a .904 playoff save percentage having stopped 1,119 of 1,238 shots.

Goalie A is Roberto Luongo prior to his first playoff meltdown in 2009 vs Chicago.

Goalie B is Luongo beginning with game 6 vs Chicago in 2009.

Could it be sample size issues? Strength of opponent?

The Canucks have lost to the Stanley Cup champion many times in the Luongo era, after all.

I'd say the simplest explanation is that Luongo's meltdown tendencies undercut his otherwise stellar work.

In the regular season it's easy to straighten him out.

In the playoffs it's much harder to start the next game with Lou when the previous game ended with the backup in net.

Without the Schneider safety net things are going to be interesting.

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#17 NM00
August 17 2013, 12:24PM
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@Ruprecht

It's absolutely worth the contract.

It's gambling on two late bloomers and a late drafted NA goaltender that could be an issue, though.

Espescially when the most recent history of goaltending suggests it's a bad bet to make.

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#18 Ted
August 17 2013, 04:19PM
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@NM00

I'm not too concerned with his overall numbers or playoff numbers etc. Overall, he has some great numbers. Anyway just looking at the numbers will never get the true ability of a player.

Anyone who didn't watch those playoff games will never know how badly Lu fell apart in Boston in the Cup finals. How he let in weak goal after weak goal. They will never see how the Blackhawks would cause him to have huge lapses in his game. I can't remember too many other goalies that have had similar ups and downs in the playoffs; shuts down the opponent at home and absolutely melts on the road.

Maybe Lu has shaken those demons and this is a guy that will be consistent night in and night out. I hope so. I am thinking we're stuck with him for a while.

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#19 JCDavies
August 17 2013, 07:38PM
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@NM00

"Not sure exactly how it would work if nobody wants the contract."

From Botchford:

"Teams did want Luongo. There were at least two cities he wasn’t willing to consider. And then there was Toronto. There were two times the Canucks feel they could have done a deal with the Maple Leafs. One was at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The other was just before the lockout. In both instances, Luongo let the Canucks know he wasn’t interested in going to Hogtown and those deals died on the vine.

So, some of the responsibility for what happened in the end will always rest with Luongo, and, by extension, his recently replaced agent, Gilles Lupien."

Botchford indicates that there might be still be interest for Luongo and his contract if Lu is willing to add to his list of possible destinations.

Also, you have stated several times in the past that Lu was willing to go to Toronto in Sept. 2012 and that it was Gillis' fault for not getting the deal done. Looks like Botchford has heard differently.

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#20 NM00
August 17 2013, 09:40PM
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@JCDavies

"you have stated several times in the past that Lu was willing to go to Toronto in Sept. 2012 and that it was Gillis' fault for not getting the deal done. Looks like Botchford has heard differently."

From Gillis perhaps?

My "statements" were based on rumours as I have previously stated.

Which is what Botchford is reporting months after the fact.

Is there any reason to believe Botchford more than all the other rumours?

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#21 Ruprecht
August 17 2013, 10:35PM
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NM00 wrote:

It's absolutely worth the contract.

It's gambling on two late bloomers and a late drafted NA goaltender that could be an issue, though.

Espescially when the most recent history of goaltending suggests it's a bad bet to make.

I'd take the chance on a hot young goalie as far as prospects go, which is what this signing seems to be. It's pointless to make it anything more. Based on what the kid has going for him recently it's hard to argue against giving him a shot in our organization. Sure there is more that could be addressed with the position but we're talking prospects and potential here aren't we?

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#22 Roland
August 18 2013, 08:22AM
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@NM00

Guys, goaltending isn't our problem...scoring goals are. Whether it's Luongo in net or the Swedish tandem, the Canucks will be just fine...just score some goals!!!

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#23 Canucks92
August 18 2013, 03:37PM
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@NM00

An interesting argument for sure.

But I would not put much weight on the Flyers not signing Eriksson. A year ago they let go of the Vezina winner... to keep Bryz. Not to mention all the other failures they have endured trying to find their No. 1 guy. If it was any other of the 29 teams in the league, I would actually value that decision.

But as you pointed out, Rinne and Lundqvist were drafted right around where Eriksson went. His numbers are very similar to Lundqvist's in Sweden at a similar age. I agree that it is getting much more rare to find goalies late, but it still does happen on occasion.

It's also somewhat rare that a young European goalie with a lot of hype who is playing in Europe even gets signed in the NHL. It's not as if it happens all the time and they are failing again and again in the NHL.

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#24 Lemming
August 18 2013, 05:44PM
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Fabian Brunnstrom anyone? Hype doesn't equal ability. I hope Eriksson can keep growing and flourish in North America, but my expectations are highly tempered.

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#25 NM00
August 18 2013, 07:11PM
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@Canucks92

He was an 8th round pick, non-tendered at age 21 and was still only considered the SECOND best European goalie prospect behind an undrafted goalie.

There isn't a starting goalie in the NHL under the age of 30 that's a comparable to Eriksson or Lack.

The era of finding late round/undrafted goalies that are NHL calibre starters is pretty much over.

There are exceptions (Bobrovsky & Halak). But they are so rare that it is completely unpredictable and certainly nothing an organization should count on.

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#26 JCDavies
August 19 2013, 12:23AM
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@NM00

"My "statements" were based on rumours as I have previously stated."

If you want to speculate on rumours, that is perfectly fine. I'm just pointing out that there is another side to the story that you rarely, if ever, mention - particularly one in an article that you linked to.

It is interesting, however, that you are so quick to speculate on the possibility that Botchford might be a mouthpiece for the Canucks organization but I have never seen you question the validity of the rumours coming from members of the Toronto MSM, some of whom have, in the past, been accused of being mouthpieces for the Maples Leafs.

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#27 Canucks92
August 19 2013, 03:44AM
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Again, he was non-tendered at 21 because the FLYERS passed on him. The same team who traded the guy who won the vezina a year after they opted to go with Bryzgalov instead of him. Not to mention all the other trouble they have had evaluating goalies.

And the value of great goaltenders is just not what it used to be. So worst comes to worst, if none of Lack, Eriksson or Cannata pan out, we could probably acquire one relatively easily.

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#28 NM00
August 19 2013, 10:46AM
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@JCDavies

Another side of the story?

Where was Botchford with this juicy piece of gossip in September and October?

Why is this coming out MONTHS after the fact?

It's a lot easier to believe Dreger, McKenzie or Lebrun, for example, when they break the story about the Canucks being open to trading Schneider and it actually happens the very next day.

This is like when Botchford tossed out the gem about ownership "advising" Gillis to sign Luongo for as many years as possible:

http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Botchford+Could+Luongo+Long+Island+bound+Islanders+reportedly+interested+former+draft+pick/8458051/story.html

If Botchford was privy to this, why would it be coming out YEARS after the fact?

If you want to suggest Luongo played a role in his current "unhappiness", be my guest.

However, that has nothing to do with management spending $5.33 million on a backup goalie this past season with a glaring hole at 3LC, sabotaging Luongo's trade value in the process and sitting on the Schneider asset for two playoff years too long while the Canucks were at the peak of the win curve.

Picking and choosing which rumours to believe is immaterial at this point.

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#29 NM00
August 19 2013, 11:07AM
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1. Eriksson was a late round pick

2. Eriksson was merely the 2nd best European free agent goalie behind an undrafted goalie.

These 2 facts alone are major red flags in the current goaltending landscape.

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#30 JCDavies
August 19 2013, 04:19PM
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Wow, looks like I hit a nerve.

"Where was Botchford with this juicy piece of gossip in September and October?"

Whether you believe him or not, Botchford has actually been pretty consistent about Luongo trying to hold out for a trade to Florida/refusing to waive his NTC for Toronto. This isn't a new rumour.

"If you want to suggest Luongo played a role in his current "unhappiness", be my guest."

Hard to deny this.

There is nothing wrong with speculating on rumours and writing things like this:

"If Gillis could have been satisfied with Bozak and a 2nd rounder, the Canucks would have the following:

1: Schneider 2: Late 1st rounder (Canucks) 3: 2nd rounder (Leafs) 4: 2nd rounder (Canucks) 5: Connauton 6: 1 year of Bozak"

But lets be serious, you didn't get the rumour that comment is based on from McKenzie. Damien Cox himself couldn't have written that better.

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#31 NM00
August 19 2013, 05:04PM
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@JCDavies

"Wow, looks like I hit a nerve."

Uh what?

Why do you care about Leafs rumours at this point?

To show that Luongo MAY have played a "role" in this?

It's redundant. Every player with a NTC plays a role in whether or not he is traded and to where he is traded.

What does that have to do with Gillis mismanaging assets and cap space?

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#32 NM00
August 19 2013, 05:08PM
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" But Luongo had something of an epiphany in September when he met with Canucks management in Vancouver and was told Florida was all but out."

http://o.canada.com/2012/10/18/luongo-to-toronto-report-prompts-non-denial-denials/

I wouldn't call that entirely "consistent" with what Botchford recently.

If Botchford knew that Lou's NTC was what prevent a trade to TO just before the lockout, why wouldn't he have stated it explicitly in the above article and thrown water on months of speculation?

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#33 JCDavies
August 19 2013, 11:09PM
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@NM00

But it isn't really inconsistent with what Botchford said, though, is it?

The league locked the players out on Sept. 15 (I believe) and Luongo didn't arrive in Vancouver until Sept. 11.

http://canucksarmy.com/2012/9/10/strombabble-luongos-return-is-inconvenient-but-not-a-disaster

At that point, according to Botchford, he was blocking trades to all teams except Florida.(consistent with what he wrote recently)

There is nothing in the article that says Luongo didn't block a trade to Toronto before the deadline, only that at some point Luongo decided he needed increase the number of teams he is willing to go to. That "epiphany" could have very well come after he already blocked a trade to Toronto and after the lockout began on Sept. 15.

"If Botchford knew that Lou's NTC was what prevent a trade to TO just before the lockout, why wouldn't he have stated it explicitly in the above article and thrown water on months of speculation?"

The article was written in October and was clearly looking forward to what would happen after the lockout. Botchford never said that Lu would refuse to go to Toronto after the lockout.

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#34 JCDavies
August 19 2013, 11:12PM
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@NM00

"Why do you care about Leafs rumours at this point?"

It's not about "Leafs rumours", it's about taking all the sides of the story into account and not ignoring anything. You can't properly evaluate Gillis and the Canuck's management team without understanding the roles played by the other people involved. To ignore the roles played by Luongo, Burke, Nonis or anybody else involved would be poor analysis and would lead to poor conclusions.

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#35 NM00
August 20 2013, 10:36AM
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@JCDavies

But what does that have to do with Gillis mismanaging the Canucks?

What does this have to do with having a $5.33 million backup, leaving a gaping hole at 3LC all year and using two decent assets on a rental to fill the hole?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if Luongo was an immovable object, Gillis never should have tried to move him.

If you have a justification for wasting two years of the Sedin/Lou core (espescially this past season) by sitting on the Schneider asset, please share.

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#36 JCDavies
August 21 2013, 09:24AM
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@NM00

"please share"

Haha, wow.

So, you want me to explain why the Canucks management team might think holding onto a veteran goalie that considered requesting to be traded in 2010, did request a trade in 2012 and has the contractual ability to force a trade in the near future might not be in the team's best interests and why they than might want to try to trade him?

Or why, when faced with the possibility that, in the near future, they might be forced to trade their veteran goalie, management might make every effort to try to retain their good young goalie?

Or how player with a NTC that demands a trade and, for months, blocks trades to all teams except one might make it difficult for team management to trade him? And very easy for the other team to lowball all its offers?

Is that what you're saying? You would like these concepts explained to you?

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#37 NM00
August 21 2013, 10:01AM
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@JCDavies

Your entire post is pure speculation that makes for a convenient after-the-fact narrative.

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