Harding in goal tonight...dont know if its because of his spectacular performance last time vs the Wings, or if it is just a coincidence...but last time we played the Wings, Harding put on his superman pants, and stole us a point...even though we still lost in OT.
Impressive win over my poor Wings...Harding is showing why people said he could be a #1, and Yeo told him he wants him to compete for it. This raises an interesting scenario around Feb. Are one of our goalie trade bait for a player if were making a playoff push or a prospect/pick if were out? And which of the two would you trade? Hmmm
In my book Back would be gone for whichever, resign Harding to a better contract (between his limp one and Back's 6mil) and let Hacket backup/groom him to be the next in line.
I would prefer it if we could keep Harding at a lesser price than Backstrom, but that is not a sure thing, as Harding will be an FA this year. I am hoping we can trade one by the deadline, because I think we will be losing at least one in the off season.
Yes its tough but there are a couple deciding factors.
1) Goalie's dont get the huge contracts they use to, we could sign Harding to a 2-4mil contract for a good term and have a huge savings over Backstrom.
2) He has shown great work ethic to come back from his injuries, and his athleticism we have seen in these first two games is ridiculously good.
3) He is younger, and would be a good mentor to Hackett.
4) Backstrom really benefited from JL's defense trap system. His numbers were inflated, and now that he is no longer our coach and we are moving in a different direction his numbers have lowered pretty substantially.
Its time for a change, and there are teams (TB still comes to mind) that might be willing to pay for a good goalie for the playoffs.
Ok I am going to slightly defend Bryz here. If you have watched the games he has not been horrible, his stats do not do his play justice especially in his last few games (minus the 9-8 debacle). And without Pronger that team doesnt have a D.
And were not asking a team to drastically overpay for him. A team like TB has good prospects, if there sitting needing a goalie for a playoff push (They have Roli and Garon....they need a goalie bad) and would give us I.E Brett Connely. Deal, done, package that up and ship them up. Other teams that might need it Chicago, Columbus (who knows if they can turn it around), Islanders (yes they could make the playoffs), Devils (outside chance), Winnipeg, St Loius. I mean there are a slew of teams that could maybe need goaltending. Heck Toronto too, I looked at all these teams top goalies GAA and they could need help. Shipping Backy could get a high pick or a 7-8B-C grade prospect.