Monday, February 8, 2010

Kari Lehtonen is Your New Kari Lehtonen

Well, not quite yet. He's been recalled from his conditioning assignment with the Chicago Wolves, and who knows what happens now. A trade that will involve one of our three goalies, obviously, but who?

It seems like Don Waddell has been down on Kari for some time now (probably as a result of the team being down on him), but even with all of Kari's faults and constant injuries I'm not sure that trading him would be the wisest thing. We've heard a lot of chatter in the last week or so about to the effect that Kari will never play another game as a Thrasher, and that he'll likely be traded even though his present trade value is nil.

Is it really a good idea to trade him now without playing him, to effectively trade him for nothing?

Wouldn't it be more prudent to give him some playing time and see what he can do? I doubt it would be an all-out disaster, and it would lead to one of two scenarios (both of them better than just casting him off without playing him): 1) we sign him for dirt cheap and he plays well in the near future, or 2) he plays and thereby increases his trade value, and we trade him for something more than nothing.

What do all of you think? Get rid of Kari now or give the boy some playing time? Which of our many goalies would you trade? Hmm?


A2B said...

You got to keep him. The one year that we were good (got to the post season) was because he shouldered the team and got them there in the stretch.

Also think about the shotty Defense that he had in front of him. Give him this Defense and I bet he'll post 2.5 GAA and a +.910 save percentage the rest of the way.

Just my opinion.

j_barty_party said...

Lord Greer, this is a great topic to debate on a post-party Monday when there is no hockey to look at (well Thrashers that is) for 2 more days.

Personally, I don't see how you trade him without showcasing him a bit and starting 1 game and perhaps getting mop-up duty (hopefully not) against Chicago is probably not enough to entice any GM not named Milbury or Waddell to take a chance on Lehts.

I would think the trade market for Hedberg is much better at this point and a team looking to bolster their back-up goalie prospects may even be willing to part with a roster player or a high-level prospect to ensure success in the run to the playoffs.

Kari is still a RFA so that makes this even more interesting. And in light of the fact DWad essentially threw him under the bus at the THM makes this debate even more intriguing (and Kari's future more puzzling than ever). Perhaps his RFA status would make him more attractive in a trade since he'd be relatively cheap to lock up.

I think trading him is premature, but you have to test the market if you're the two-headed monster known as Waddudley. Just wish we were in a better position w/r/t a playoff seed to make the picture surrounding these hard decisions much clearer and definitive.

In a perfect world, we might be able to trade Lehtonen for a very under-rated prospect who can't get a look due to the competition ahead of him on a veteran-heavy roster. Kind of like the up and coming, but unheralded Cal Bonk!!

Razor Catch Prey said...

The real question here is WHEN DW should pull the trigger on a trade. Before the trade deadline to try to help us now, or in the Summer?

If he trades Kari now, he has no value. If he trades Pav now he could get something decent to help us this season, but would leave the team with Kari in whom they have no confidence.

Kari is not going to be a UFA, he's still a 25 year old RFA. There's no rush to trade him before the deadline like there was with Kovy or like there is with Armstrong. DW could hang on to all three goalies (because honestly, does anyone think it wise to trade Moose?) until the Summer. That would do nothing to help us for this stretch except maybe light a fire under all three of them to play harder. However, it would let us raise Kari's value and negotiate with both Kari and Pav so we can measure how much we would have to pay to keep each against the potential we think each possesses.

Big Shooter said...

Razor - I have no clue when to trade a goalie. You were there at the Town Hall and heard how it is nearly 100% that Kari is gone.

Glad I'm not the GM on this one. Even though, as you pointed out, the guys have lost faith in Kari, I have a problem with trading the guy that BY FAR has the most talent. We could end up screwed big time on this. And like you said, Kari doesn't have a lot of trade value right now.

Who knows...

Razor Catch Prey said...

We should give Kari a shot at playing, and play him until he hits a bad stretch. If that is the first five minutes he plays, then sit him down after the first five minutes. If he plays brilliantly for a 10 game stretch, great.

Otherwise, we should consider Moose the #1 for the rest of this season. he has been the better goalie. He deserves the job and the team needs his consistency and leadership.

Like I said the other night, I don't agree with putting the "C" on a goalie, but in reality Moose is this team's captain right now.

Mortimer Peacock said...

Mr. Speaker-

Indeed. I wonder which goalie could get us Cal Bonk and Charles Wellwood. And Carl Kesler.

Mortimer Peacock said...

Not to mention a generous supply of bulbous chickens.

A2B said...

Its also messed up the team waited till the end of the offseason to schedule surgery and then do the check for bone spurs after that. Its almost like they are trading him to cover up their malpractice.

j_barty_party said...

Morty, that would be one hell of a checking line!!

I'm still laughing from last night. But man am I freakin' tired. That's what I get for drinkin' like I was 26 instead of 36! When will I learn?

Jay said...

I would think at this point Lehtonen might be able to fetch a 3rd round pick, a 2nd if a team is desperate, which I have yet to hear of one being that desperate. My thought is to keep all of the goalies right now, start Lehtonen with Hedberg as the backup and demote Pavelec to the Wolves to maybe work on his high glove side(the Capitals just scored on him again). If Lehtonen does fairly well look to trade him at the draft when his value is a bit higher. I wouldn't trade Hedberg right now just for the fact that he is playing so well and I don't think the fanbase could take losing Kovy AND Moose in the span of a month. I even think losing Moose would tick off the fans more than Kovy to be honest. I don't think Pavelec has any value to contending teams right now, even as a backup. He's too inconsistent still. I'd also try to trade Armstrong soon, too. I think Crabb can bring to the table everything that Armstrong does and for much less money.

Jay said...

This one just hit me and is a bit out of the box thinking:

Lehtonen and NJ's 1st round pick


Edmonton for Dustin Penner

The big acquisition for Edmonton is the 1st round pick. Lehtonen is also MUCH better than what they currently have. He is also insurance for Khabibulin for next year.

The Thrash get a great scoring winger in the deal who is signed for what now seems like a fairly reasonable contract.

CaptainStefan said...

Here's an idea:
Lehtonen and NJ's first rounder for Huet.

Thrashers get a decen-ish goalie that has playoff experience and can come up big when called upon, relatively rugged.
Blackhawks get a young, hugely talented goaltender who needs a change of scenery AND they release some of the cap pressure of this coming summer.

Now, to all those of you who actually make sense, this may seem crazy because it doesn't alleviate our 3-goalie issue. It does, however, give us security in net and the Moose-esque veteran presence in the locker room.

krisabelle said...

Bring back Joey Crabb! That would be utter glory. We have Ikea crabs ("KRABBA"s) at the ready! We have props! Bring the man back!!