Sure, his best days are behind him, but he was a pretty important part of the Capitals playoff run, serving as a calming influence on the ice. I really thought Washington would try and keep him and Fedorov would try and stay. After all, he hasn’t been a factor on an NHL team since he played with Detroit. His exile(s) in Anaheim and Columbus saw him all but lose his NHL relevancy. He was reborn in Washington. But apparently, it seems like he’s ready to move on.
Tim Panaccio has a nice tribute to Chris Osgood that reveals something fascinating about the Flyers:
Many years after the Summit Series, the first competition between the Russian and Canadian national hockey teams, Russian goalie Vladislav Tretiak told Bob Clarke that the secret to the Soviets’ success in the 1970s was that the team built around him, and not just him in goal.
We think Tretiak’s rationale was a major reason why the Flyers never placed the same emphasis on having a stud No. 1 in net as other clubs have.
Can you imagine how different the Flyers’ fortunes would have been if Tretiak explicitly said what he probably considered too obvious to say aloud to Bobby Clarke: ‘But of course, you need a decent goalie in goal. You can’t just ignore the position for years. The goalie is still an important position.’
Finally, Larry Brooks’ Sunday NHL column was a bit strange, with Brooks suggesting the Devils release coach Brent Sutter from his contract so he can coach for his brother Darryl in Calgary. Sure, Sutter doesn’t seem happy on the east coast, but isn’t hockey a business? Can you really afford to turn a great coach loose? Can you imagine the fallout if the Devils just let Sutter go and then somehow manage to meet Calgary in the finals? I get that Brent Sutter is a person. But before I let him go, I’d see if there’s anything that can be done to make him happy in New Jersey. Happy and inclined to stay past this season. Because coaches like Sutter aren’t exactly easy to find.