Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Devils won't budge (yet) on Brodeur backup plan
Are the New Jersey Devils going to trade for a goalie now that superstar goalie Martin Brodeur is out three to four months?
We asked that question point-blank to veteran Devils GM Lou Lamoriello on Tuesday, and while he would never tell any media member if he was working on a trade (he keeps his cards close to the vest), he was strong in his support of backup Kevin Weekes.
It sounded to me like Weekes will get a chance to carry this team for a while before Lamoriello ever looks at other options.
"I have tremendous confidence in Kevin," Lamoriello told ESPN.com from his Devils office. "I certainly remember clearly and distinctly when he came into this role when he was in Carolina and took them to that playoff run [in 2002]. He beat us in the playoffs.
"Kevin is one of the hardest workers that I've seen," Lamoriello added. "He has a tremendous attitude. He's been a tremendous part of our team as far as the way he's accepted his role. I know the players will play for him because they have so much fondness and respect for him for the way he handles everything.
"I have confidence in his abilities, and so does our coaching staff."
So, for now, it's Weekes' team.
Had this injury happened two weeks ago, Dwayne Roloson could have been had for a song. But suddenly, he's starting over Mathieu Garon again in Edmonton. Still, the Oilers are carrying three goalies because they don't want to lose Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers on waivers. Not an ideal situation.
"All three goalies have had good games," Oilers GM Steve Tambellini told ESPN.com. "Mathieu has had some good starts, obviously, and has played well for us, and now Rollie has got into a zone for us where he looks very comfortable out there, so he's getting the workload. It's not the ideal situation [to carry three goalies], but that's what we have. Let's see how they figure it out."
Roloson and Garon are both unrestricted free agents July 1.
What about Chicago? The Blackhawks tried their hardest, even looking at Russia, but couldn't find a new home for Nikolai Khabibulin last month. Now comes the stunning news of Brodeur's injury. Trouble is, Khabibulin has played so well for the resurgent Hawks, I'm not so sure Chicago should be in a hurry to move him anymore.
"We're very happy with our goaltending situation," Hawks GM Dale Tallon told ESPN.com Tuesday. "We've got Khabibulin, [Cristobal] Huet and [Corey] Crawford and [Antti] Niemi in the AHL. We have depth in goal.
"We're happy with the way things have gone, but at the same time, we'll listen to anything. Never say no to a phone call."
In other words, Tallon isn't as desperate anymore to move Khabibulin, but if there's a good offer, who knows
or maybe Huet?
In the meantime, Tallon also put in a call to Brendan Shanahan's agent. "I like Shanny; he'd be good for our young guys," Tallon said.
Philadelphia and St. Louis have also publicly stated their interest in Shanahan, while rumors persist New Jersey is also interested. I asked Lamoriello today, but knew he wouldn't bite.
"You know I don't answer those questions, Pierre," Lamoriello said.