Who is the Next Big Thing?

I’d like to start this article with a question if I may? Hasn’t anyone noticed that some of the premier goalies in this league are getting a little long in the tooth? There are some goalies that may or may not have broken out last season, but are they for real? So let me ask you all this:

Who is the NHL’s next big thing between the pipes?

Now let’s take a look at some of the lead candidates to take this honor.

JOSE THEODORE: Is this guy for real?

or is this guy another Jim

Carey? I know this guy is

good, but I’m waiting until

he struts his stuff a second


MIKA NORONEN: This guy has been a minor

league stand out for years

and could finally show his

stuff fulltime this year.

Can he and Biron co-exist?

MATHIEU BIRON: This guy gets beaten up

by the press sometimes,

but I feel it’s undeserved.

It’s not easy succeeding

Hasek. Because he

certainly has the skill and

the mentality to bounce

back after a tough

game. That’s maturity.

DAVID AEBISCHER: This guy is showing skill.

I guess it can’t hurt having

St. Patrick as a tutor. He

has been hyped for years,

thus the departure of Marc

Denis. He will get his

chance once Roy hangs

them up. Will he be ready?

MARTY TURCO: This his year to strut his

stuff. Belfour is gone, he is the

maN for now. But Dallas is

smart, good ol’ Ron Tugnutt is

there to spell him when times

get tough. Which they most

likely will at some point. It’s


ROBERTO LUONGO: This guy is a stud. Has

superstar written all over

him. He has the skill and

mentality. But will it show

in Florida? Not anytime

soon by the looks of it.

RICK DIPIETRO: Has the mentality, but has

he the toughness for a full

NHL season? He’s got the

skill, but with Osgood in

Long Island, will he show

his ability with the


Now these were just a few netminders out there. There are many more. Blackburn, Nabokov, Kiprussof, Oullette. But which one will be crowned “THE NEXT BIG THING”? Most will make it, but will any of them become consistent stars in this goalie graveyard we call the NHL?


62 Responses to Who is the Next Big Thing?

  1. FlyersGoCupCrazy says:

    I think Boucher was given a raw deal, especially after his injury last year. Cechmanek was playing well, and the Flyers never gave Boucher enough starts to get back into form. When the shoe was on the other foot, however, at the end of the season when Cechmanek came back, it was another story. Boucher was playing well (after what? 6 consecutive starts?), but when Cechmanek was ready, they played him every game until the playoffs. I’m not saying they shouldn’t have, but it seems to me like the Flyers were always a little biased to Cechmanek. This doesn’t negate the fact that Boucer is a head case (Cechmanek isn’t?), but when he plays consistentl, he can be dominant. All I’m saying is that Boucher hs all the right tools and pure talent, he just needs to get his ass in gear.

  2. prairiehab says:

    If you could really say that anyone person could replace another or be the “next Roy”, then you have to look at styles and attititudes as well as performance and in a couple of years when the big names are all gone then the following could be there ‘replacements’.

    Roy – Theodore

    Hasek – Nabikov

    Brodeur – Luongo

    Joseph – Turco

    Belfour – Clothier

    By the way Thedore is the real thing, as last year he’s stats were up around top 5 in the league, and before that he was good but just not as good as this year as every year he has improved a bit, which is the way to do things, unlike Carey who all of a sudden had a hot year and then couldn’t handle the presuure the next year.

  3. CrackerZack says:

    As stated in my earlier post, bouch’s number are all over the place. He had a great year in 99-00 which lead into the playoffs, but he didn’t really play that many games. He was untested, a Jim Carey if you will. Everyone expected him to repeat his performances the following year, but he didn’t. He played 27 games and finished the year with an astounding GAA of 3.27. Last year him and Cecho split time pretty much. Bouch played in 41 games and finished the year with a 2.41 GAA.

    You can’t say he wasn’t given the chance to succeed, he played a substantial amount of the season in 01-02. You can’t say that the flyers organization didn’t have confidence in him because they certainly did. More than Cecho thats for sure. Its been documented that NHL locker rooms, the flyers specifically, don’t respect European players (especially goalies) as much as North American ones. Everyone wanted Bouch to do it, he just didn’t. Brian didn’t show the orginization that he could be relied upon day in and day out. Bouch just couldn’t get it done. He had one great third of the season that lead into the playoffs in 99-00, nothing more. Sure he had a brief stint last year where he was unbeatable, but the numbers don’t lie. A 2.41 GAA is not good, sorry pal.

    For the sake of argument lets compare numbers. Last year, in 46 games, Cecho had a GAA of 2.05, third in the league I believe. In 00-01 he had a GAA of 2.01 in 59 games. Those numbers are outstanding, that is why Roman is the starter next year and why Bouch is stuck in the desert. Go ahead and criticize Clarke, but believe it or not he knows what he is doing. There’s a reason why he’s the GM of a professional hockey team and your staring at your computer screen wondering when your acne will go away.

    Now I hate to tell you Peter, but Bouch was behind one of the best defenses in the league. The Flyers allowed on average 26 shots per game while the Coyotes allowed nearly 29. The only reason the Coyotes even made the playoffs last year was because Burke stood on his head going down the stretch. Compared to Bouch, Burkes play is as consistent as the rising and setting of the sun. Don’t expect Bouch to take Burke’s job anytime soon.

  4. edmontonrules says:

    Theodore and Luongo are the future. Biron has had more than enough time to show his stuff. I give him one more year until he’s dumped.

  5. NYR88Express says:

    yo rumormillman and some of you HTR members…

    …DAN BLACKBURN…hello??

  6. biron43 says:

    EaZy Marty Biron!!!!!!!!!

  7. biron43 says:

    Way too many Dipietro fans for nothing. The guy is nothing special…actually he sucks. He doesn’t compare to Marty Biron, Mika Noronen or Ryan Miller…by the way Miller holds many records for a goaltender in the NCAA…easily a better kepper out of the NCAA.

  8. TC_4 says:

    Good point about Miller man. I have a buddy that plays against him and he said Ryan Miller just absolutly dominates.

  9. habsrulz says:

    the 2005 vezina trophy finalist are:

    Roberto Luongo

    Jose Theodore

    Martin Biron

  10. Glen says:

    OK, so maybe my Pat Roy comment was a bit over the top. But I am sticking with the rest of my comment. Olaf IS overrated. He isn’t bad but is overrated. 2.78 and 90.3% aren’t acceptable. He finished outside of the top 25 in both categories. Outside of Gonchar and an injured Johansson he didn’t have much help on defense. But Giguere, Biron, Khabibulin, and Dunham all put up better numbers. Maxime will be moving into the starting spot before too long. Olie is all washed up.

  11. mikster says:

    He still played as a back up though. Can he play 5 straight games more than 6 times in a season? He played the same amount of games as Blackburn, and Blackburn tied an NHL record for 5 straight wins by a teen goalie. The only difference between Blackburn and Turco is the statistical numbers. Obviously Blackburn had a pathetic defense in front of him, yet he played extremely well in many games.

    I like Turco, he has an awesome mask, a great attitude that will improve the locker room’s atmosphere, and he has good skills. All he has to do is just prove to me that he can play 55 games as a starter.

  12. mikster says:

    and your point is…………..???? Those are not NHL stats, so i really could care less about those. I would only look at those stats if i’d had to draft Turco, but he is 27 years old, and a first time starter in the NHL this upcoming season.

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