Hedberg On The Way Out??

Is Craig Patrick slowly preparing the departure of is #1 goalie??Being the GM of a young team strugling for cash every year and with virtually no chances of making the playoffs next year here’s what I’d do:

Trade Johan Hedberg and his 1.4M$ salary to whoever wants him, get whatever I can for him and play Sébastien Caron & Jean-Sébastien split duties next year.

Well, it may exactly be what Craig Patrick has in mind. Only this past 2 weeks, he signed 20 years-old goaltender Andy Chiodo to a 3 year contract, he also signed Sébastien Caron, 22, to a multi year deal while adding 30 y-old Martin Brochu to the organization.

Caron seems to be NHL caliber (played 24 games last year: 7-14-2, 2.64, .916%) while Brochu has been a backup in Vancouver in 2001-2002 and has been named American Hockey League MVP in 2000-2001. You also have Jean-Sébastien Aubin (21, 6-13-0, 3.13, .900%) who keeps knocking at the door every year.

Don’t you also forget about recent 1st overall draft pick, Marc-André Fleury, said by many to be ”NHL Caliber” already and you got yourself enough young cheap goalies to put in front of your net for the year to come.

Personnally I wouldn’t even play Fleury this year, I wouldn’t want to burn him a make the same mistake the Quebec Nordiques made with Jocelyn Thibeault couple years ago or most recently Dan Blackburn with the Rangers or Rick DiPietro in Long Island… 18 is WAY too young to bring a goaltender in the NHL. The only thing you can do is hurt is confidence as we all know goaltenders tend to hit their peak at around age 24-25, even older in some cases.

Where Hedberg would go now? It depends on what Patrick wants… Does he want to patch a hole (big steady defensemen, anyone!) or does he simply want to get rid of the salary. I could see Hedberg in a Coyotes uniform for maybe a 3rd round pick or even maybe Todd Simpson (1.4M$ salary: same as Hedberg). He could split the duties with Brian Boucher, and that way, Sean Burke would become expendable for Phoenix and they could deal him to a team like Colorado.

Another possibility could also be Boston. He’d be a cheap plan #2 if they fail to land Cujo. He could also split the duties with goaltender Steve Shields or even outplay him. Boston does have a better defense than Pittsburgh, so he could look better than with young unexperienced d-man in front of him.

This is in no way a rumor I want to get going, but anyway that’s what I’d do…