Kind of a crazy 24 hours in hockey.
Wonder goalie Jonas Gustavsson signed with the Maple Leafs, leaving the Dallas Stars scrambling to find a “backup” for Marty Turco who can step in and start when Turco inevitably flounders. Again. Not that Turco is going to go quietly into the night. He wants to play less to get more quality starts. He’s also going to try and work more closely with goalie coach Andy Moog.
I don’t think Gustavsson is the magic bullet everyone thinks he is and I think he’s going to be the latest in a long line of Maple Leaf goalie flops. But I do feel bad for the Dallas fans who were really looking for the anti-Turco. But looking at Mike Heika’s free agent goalie roundup, I only see three solid goalies off the table (Craig Anderson, Scott Clemmensen, and Nikolai Khabibulin). Dallas can still fix their goalie woes, if new GM Joe Nieuwendyk is ready to throw starter money at a goalie who is going to start the season as a “backup” and most likely finish as the number one.
Also, Joe Sakic announced his retirement, causing tears around the Avs community. Sakic was an incredible player. I wish he could have ended things on his own terms. His last two seasons were rough, but before that, he finished with a 100 point campaign. It’s too bad he couldn’t finish his career with that kind of season. Although, I suspect if he thought he could be the least bit helpful to Colorado, he would have signed on for another tour of duty.
It’s pretty interesting to look at Sakic’s career and leadership and juxtapose that with Dany Heatley’s. Sakic let his on-ice behavior speak for him. I felt like I knew Sakic just from watching how he handled himself on the ice. Never angry, but always aggressive. Willing to share the puck but not scared to shoot. The man was almost like the personification of balance. Meanwhile, Heatley is practically auditioning spin doctors to find a way out of Ottawa. I hope he gets a chance to watch some video of Sakic this week. I think it might do him some good.