Chuck Pleiness of the Macomb Daily Times broke the news yesterday (stick tap to PHT’s Joe Yerdon) that the Canucks have offered former Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace a PTO. Manny Legace – who spent last year in the German league with the Iserlohn Roosters – hasn’t played in the NHL since a 28 game stint with the Carolina Hurricanes in the 09-10 season.(*) You can go read the official Canucks.nhl.com press release announcing the deal here.
(*) The Iserlohn Roosters have a pretty hilarious "aggressive Rooster" logo.
Manny Legace is a former Stanley Cup winner (in 2002, as a backup with the Red Wings), who boasts a career winning record, has over 300 career starts under his belt, and sports a respectable .912 career save percentage. Though one might refer to Legace as an "oldster" (he’s 38 years old, and would turn 39 mid-season), Dwayne Roloson would simply call him a "spring-chicken." Unsurprisingly, Legace’s rate of return has diminished as he’s aged past 35, and his save percentage has dipped to .897% since 2008 (58 games).
The Canucks have now offered 4 PTO’s to fringe veteran NHLers in the past three weeks. Those four veterans (Fedoruk, Nolan, Begin and Legace) combined to play a total of 2 NHL games last season – but they will bring a certain urgency, and desperation to training camp. Also, with all the chatter about injuries and fatigue still hobbling several Canucks skaters – the result of a grueling run to the Cup Finals, and the short summer that followed – Gillis’ recent rash of PTOs could provide some banged up regulars with a bit of extra rest during the preseason.
Though Legace’s PTO will inevitably lead to renewed speculation about whether the Canucks will look into trading blue-chip backup goaltender Cory Schneider, I wouldn’t get too excited. Cory Schneider still has one affordable year left on his current contract, and the team retains his RFA rights after this season. There’s simply no incentive for Gillis to rush into a deal involving the highly touted Marblehead, Massachusetts native.
More likely, Manny Legace will be competing with Matt Climie for the backup spot in Chicago – and he’ll probably get a number of preseason starts. Climie is a pretty solid fourth option for the organization, so Legace’s battle is certainly an uphill one. Consider that Legace couldn’t crack the New York Islanders last season, a team that is wafer thin depth-wise at the goaltending position. If Legace performs well in the pre-season, however, he could "pull a Brendan Morrison" and catch the eye of another team with need at the position.