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New Blog - CHL Goalie Ban, Sochi Goalie and Outlook on Sens 2014 1st round pick

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M_Christopher

M_Christopher
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CHL vs. the Euro Goalies
 
I’m sure by now most of you have already seen this and like most I’m assuming you’ve been left scratching your head.
 
To catch those up who haven’t seen the final decision on this, the CHL has told it’s leagues (OHL,WHL and QMJHL) that it is grandfathering in a policy where teams can no longer have European goalies.
 
The Import Draft in July will be clubs last chance to acquire a Euro goalie (by using their 1st round pick), meaning in 4 seasons no European goalies will be playing in a CHL league.
 
The (flawed) logic in this is that the ban will allow for Canadian (and American) goalies to develop better and in turn will strengthen the Canadian national program at all levels.
 
While I will agree that the opportunity for more ice time should help develop some goalies, that fact remains the best players are going to play and make it further. If a goalie isn’t good enough to beat out a starter, there is no reason he should play because of his nationality compared to the club’s starter.  I’ve always been of the belief that competition brings out the best of a player, and if it doesn’t, then maybe that player should look beyond hockey.
 
What makes this crazier is that banning Euro goalies won’t make a large difference to foreign national programs, in fact it’ll probably help them a bit. The top European goalies in the NHL all played overseas before making the jump to the NHL, none of them spent time in CHL.
 
Really the only European goalie that came up through the CHL that is on track to be a starter is Ottawa’s Robin Lehner.
 
Kind of a startling number when you think of it, 120 active goalie jobs a year in the CHL, and Europeans are taking up too many of the jobs, when really CHL has 1 Euro goalie to point at an say we helped develop him. Nevermind the fact Lehner’s dad was King Lundqvist goalie coach years ago, and the  Swedish national goalie coach for a number years….
 
Just a few numbers to look at:
 
4 Euro goalies held starter jobs in the OHL and WHL last season.
1 Euro goalie had a starter job in the QJMHL last season.
 
So 9 European Goalies are the reason are national development program isn’t producing high-end goalies any more?
 
I’m no expert but I would say our development problem lies in our own ability to develop younger goalies properly, so when they hit Major Junior they are better prepared to compete for their roles. Or maybe the fault lies on the CHL clubs and how they are developing their goalies.
 
To me, the answer lies in getting more kids to try goaltending at a young age and developing their passion for it. CHL and Hockey Canada should spend more time investing in goalie equipment and goalie camps for young players (like some European countries do) then worry about a few kids wanting to develop their craft in North America then at home.
 
Sochi 2014
 
While I’m on goalies and Canada’s inability to properly develop them, anyone else worried about Canada’s crease for Sochi?
 
2010 we won in spite of our goaltending and we boasted some big names that year.
 
Now we are less then a year away, and our crease situation is crammed and mirky for all the wrong reasons.
 
Price and Fluery were shaky and streaky all season, and instill confidence in no one. 
Ward was rock solid until his injury.
With Loungo you get a steady hand, albeit one that lets in backbreaker goals frequently.
Crawford has had a hell of a run, but one has to wonder if it’s his coming out party or is the season a fluke.
Broduer should not be relevant in this conversation.
Riemer had a good year but is still a few consistent seasons away from Olympic consideration.
M.Smith has been a gem for Phoenix and flies under the radar because of where he plays and because of injuries.
 
All that being said based on Hockey Canada’s history, my guess is we’ll be relying on:
Roberto Loungo
Carey Price or Cam Ward
Corey Crawford (unless he slams back to earth next season)
 
2013 Entry Draft: Ottawa
 
A lot of names are being tossed around as to whom the Ottawa Senators are going to take at 17th. I will leave out most of them, and just give you the 3 I’m confident the Sens will drafting if they are available and if the Sens keep their pick (which I doubt they will). In order:
 
Max Domi: Anyone watching his play down the stretch and through the playoffs can see this kid is something special and someone who is better then their current rankings. I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see him go top-15 and potentially top-10 (8-10th). Interesting note about Domi is he apparently spends a lot of time watching youtube highlights of other players to learn how they perform and to use it to further develop his skillset. (For UFC fans this is similar what Jon Jones used to do.) He has natural game-changer ability and some have compared his skating ability to Crosby. He is a gem in this draft that could go on to be a steal, and for the Sens not only is he a dynamic player to pick up, but it’d also be a nice punch in the arm to former Leaf and Max’s dad ole Tie Domi.
 
Alexander Wennberg – Everyone knows the Sens love their Swedes, and this kid is no exception. A normally defense-first type Center, he has shown flashes of scoring and playmaking ability. Most scouting reports on him, just state the feel he is slowly learning what he is capable of doing. Very strong, fast and elusive skater with great vision and hockey presence Wennberg could be as much of a steal as Domi. Scheduled to play for Frolunda next season, Wennberg won’t be a draft and sign prospect, but at least his future team will get to see him play against men right away.
 
Curtis Lazar – Kid is a rock-solid two way player, and probably the one of the, if not, the safest pick in the draft in terms of developing into an NHL player. Plays a very-smart two-way game, and doubled his production from the previous season while taking on a major role with his club.

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Full mock draft with player report is coming, just taking longer then expected.

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Ya Lazar is really intriguing and he is a great goal scorer. He'd be in my Top 3 Sens realistic targets with Domi and Gauthier. I am not a big fan of Wennberg personally, and I would like the team to go Canadian or American with this pick. I'd like to follow the Bruins who have pretty much one European mainstay in their forward corps. it would be a different story if Wennberg were more physical and bigger. Right now he reminds me of Jarnkork. 

I like Rychel as well but I think his skating is weak and he reminds me of Stone a bit.

Right move to ban goalies, they deserve a spot in their own league before imports.

You may say Brodeur shouldn't be relevant in the conversation, but he will likely end up at least going to Sochi.  If the other younger guys are still wildly inconsistent, I wouldn't mind giving Brodeur the reins.  He knows how to win big games.

Flo The Action

Post on Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:11 am by Flo The Action (Online)

I think Mike Smith should get some attention. he's shown he can be brilliant. i'm not sure price is the answer when the chips are down.

not in any order i'd have Ward, Luongo and Smith. Fleury shouldn't even be part of the discussion anymore.

Smith is a good suggestion that I'd overlooked.  I'd have Luongo, Smith, and Brodeur.

Ev wrote:Ya Lazar is really intriguing and he is a great goal scorer. He'd be in my Top 3 Sens realistic targets with Domi and Gauthier. I am not a big fan of Wennberg personally, and I would like the team to go Canadian or American with this pick. I'd like to follow the Bruins who have pretty much one European mainstay in their forward corps. it would be a different story if Wennberg were more physical and bigger. Right now he reminds me of Jarnkork. 

I like Rychel as well but I think his skating is weak and he reminds me of Stone a bit.


Nothing on Samuel Morin the 6ft6 defenseman from the QMJHL?

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