Stacking the Pads

Just the tip of the goalie news iceberg

04 June 2006

The trans-atlantic goalie shuffle

Look out, the Swedes are coming. And the Finns. And the Finns who play in Sweden. And the Finns with Swedish-sounding names. It has amused me all season that the Red Wings have enough Swedes to put an all-Swedish skating unit out on the ice. I thought to myself, how funny would it be if they ended up with a Swedish goaltender too? Well, whaddya know, they've got one now. Stfan Liv, who played for HV71 in the Swedish Elite League (and for Tre Kronor in the Olympics and World Championships) is going to Detroit. He was their 4th round draft pick in 2000, and just signed a one year contract with them. He'll compete for a position in camp this fall, and if he doesn't make the team, will go to the AHL.

Tampa Bay has been busy as well. Coach Tortorella was vocal about his disappointment in his goaltending tandem of Sean Burke and John Grahame, and apparently they are on their way out. Just in the past week, Tampa has signed Johan Holmqvist (Brynäs - SEL), Fredrik Norrena (Linköpings - SEL) and Karri Rämö (of Hämeenlinna in the SM-liiga, Finland's top pro league). What they're going to do with all these Scandinavians beats me, but it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

The Minnesota Wild signed Finnish netminder Niklas Bäckström (not to be confused with the Swedish Niklas Bäckström, who is billed as the second coming of Peter Forsberg, available for the draft this year) to a mulityear contract whose details were not disclosed. Bäckström was also playing in the SM-liiga, and was on the 2006 Olympic roster and played in the 2005 World Championships.

Now... I'm not too familiar with Finland's pro leauge, but it sure did jump out at me that Sweden's league lost 3 top goalies. HV71, Brynäs and Linköpings all went to the playoffs this season, and now their #1 goalies are headed for greener pastures. Who will fill the void? Linköpings has already taken care of that- they've signed former Flyer and King Roman Cechmanek, who was playing in Germany this past season.

It will be interesting to see where all these guys end up, and who will step up for their previous clubs. Stay tuned, because I intend to keep my eye on this bunch!


  • At 12:54 AM , Blogger Australian Gold Tanning Lotion said...

    Hockey is a great game, I just wish more americans played in the NHL.

  • At 12:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Whatever can help the Lightning goalie situation, Tor will do. The 25% principle - of letting in a goal for every four shots was deplorable. I know this is the new NHL and all, but you can't win letting in that many goals.


  • At 12:14 AM , Blogger Goalie_Gal said...

    Agreed. But the public humiliation was a bit uncalled for.


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