Monday: Expansion Goalies, Are They Really That Important?

Welcome to another Monday post on HJC!

The NHL goalie world is entering an awkward period now, where teams will have to make tough decisions due to the upcoming expansion draft. With Dallas signing Ben Bishop to a 6 year contract and Bishop himself saying he had talks with Vegas that lead to nothing due to Vegas wanting to invest in a youthful goalie, the question becomes...who's going to Vegas?

Jimmy Howard is a real possibility, since the Red Wings seem to have moved to having Peter Mrazek and Coreau, though we could see either of those guys exposed, most likely Coreau and have Howard stay on as a back up for Detroit during their rebuild. The Jets will have to expose Hutchinson and Pavelec with news coming that Hellebuyck is going to be protected. The Jets are an interesting team as they are looking for a veteran starter to share duties with Hellebuyck while he matures in his second season. Dallas's has two veteran goalies to expose, and the most likely candidate will be Niemi, and while I don't think Winnipeg should sign him (in fact they'd be better off keeping Pavelec), Niemi's success in the NHL until this past season makes him good veteran for a young tender to learn under. The Capitals will expose Phillipe Grubauer, the Flyers will likely have Michal Neuvirth open, the Wild have Darcy Keumper, and then there's more veterans like Varlamov, Budaj, Miller and Smith. The 'Yotes will have to make a tough choice between Smith and Domingue, I'd choose Domingue but I'm not in charge in Arizona. Craig Anderson isn't getting any younger, so it makes me wonder after the rebound season Mike Condon had if he will be considered for Vegas/Winnipeg or if he will stay to take over the 1A role in Ottawa eventually. Carolina has Eddie Läck and Scott Darling, which ultimately means Cam Ward is all but done once Läck returns to full health. Not that I think many teams will be interested in Ward, but he will be available. I'll even throw in some names like Ulmark, Zatkoff, Malcolm Subban and Keith Kinkaid.

Photo from wn.com
Nashville picked 5 goalies in the 1998 Expansion Draft; Mike Richter (never played, ended up resigning with the Rangers), Mike Dunham, Tomas Vokoun, Mikhail Shtalenkov (never played, signed with the Oilers) and Fredric Chabot (never played, signed with the Canadiens). Two of those guys would lead Nashville for years while two of them faded into obscurity as back ups. In the 1999 Expansion Draft Atlanta selected 3 goalies and acquired Damien Rhodes from Ottawa in a trade: Trevor Kidd (who would be traded to Florida in a later deal), Norm Maracle and Corey Schwab (never played, signed with Vancouver and spent the season in the IHL/AHL with Orlando and Syracuse), this probably is one of the worst expansion draft line ups period. In the 2000 Expansion draft, the Wild would select Mike Vernon (never played, signed with Calgary), Jamie McLennan, Chris Terreri (never played, split season with New Jersey and the Islanders) and Zac Bierk (played one game, spent most of the season with Cleveland in the IHL), while Columbus selected  Dwayne Roloson (never played, signed with Minnesota soon after spending time with the AHL Worcester IceCats), Chabot again (never played, signed with the IHL Houston Aeros and later Thomas Sabo Tigers of the DEL) and Rick Tabaracci (never played, spent season in the IHL with the Utah Grizzlies). Unlike Atlanta, neither team's goalie selection (with the exception of McLennan) would make an impact, but the Wild were able to trade Vernon and Terreri to acquire better players, and both teams drafted decently well (Wild selected Gaborik and Nick Schultz while the Jackets selected Klesla).

What's the lesson here? Well for one don't do anything the Thrashers did other than relocate, but that aside from Nashville, teams don't acquire their starters historically through the expansion draft. Of course the fields in 1999 and 2000 were pretty terrible (with the exception of Roloson and McLennan, maybe Schwab if Atlanta had hung on to him), but rules this year and the depth of talent in terms of how many goalies are available will mean Vegas could select their way to having a long term starter. There are more teams than any other team got to select from, and the number of teams with 3 useable NHL goalies is in almost double digits. The acquisition of Shipachyov means they got ahead of the rest of the NHL in getting a highly sought after foreign player, who's nearly PPG in the KHL and has a decent WHC and WCoH resumé behind him. The only issue I see with him is being 30 and only now making his NHL debut, I wonder how much he'll have to get used to in the North American style of player. That being said, this signing makes me think the team is ready to compete now. Being in the Pacific division means they have to play Edmonton, Calgary, Anaheim and San Jose, all 4 are playoff teams as far as I'm concerned next season. They also have to play Vancouver, Los Angeles and Arizona, all 3 teams are rebuilding in various ways. If they want to make the playoffs in their first couple of seasons (which I see as unlikely), they need to either be better than San Jose or Calgary to take one of the Wild Card spots. I see this team finishing 6th in their first season, ahead of Vancouver and Arizona, maybe close to Los Angeles, but at least 10 points out of a playoff spot.

So what do you think? Will Vegas find their starter in the expansion draft? Who will it be? How competitive can they be in the current Pacific division? Does picking your starter in the expansion draft rally matter?

Speaking of those Golden Knights, as TC mentioned on Friday, they will have an existing AHL franchise to host their farm team, as the Chicago Wolves somewhat unsurprising to those following the situation will do so next season. For one season, the Blues and GKs will share a franchise until the Blues either promote the KC Mavericks to the AHL or move that franchise and put their AHL team in Kansas City. I see the former happening with an identity change (Blades, Scouts, something new). It cannot happen this season as the ECHL has released their schedule to include Kansas City, all but confirming they're staying in that league to 2017. Hope you like the Mavs identity....if someone wants to make a concept of a Mavericks AHL jersey, where it's the Blues striping in Mavs colours, that'd probably be what we'll be seeing in 2018.

Voting for this week features both the usual COTW vote, as well as the World Hockey Jersey Championship voting. COTW is on the side of the blog while WHJC voting is found by clicking the tab on top of this post. Remember that this completion works with all the Canada concepts going against each other, the USA concepts going together and the rest of the World (everywhere from Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Russia, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Slovenia to North Korea) going against each other.

On with today's concepts!

Vegas Golden Knights Concepts (By: BurkusCircus)

+ One thing the Vegas logo lends itself well to is a chest stripe, and it looks good here, particularly with the grey chest stripe
+ Despite the fact we will not see the Kings' font used here, it looks good, and if they Kings ever stopped using it, I could see Vegas picking it up in an alternate in the future.
+ I also like the idea of using the alternate logo as an arm patch (like the Blackhawks last 3 outdoor) jerseys rather than a shoulder patch and putting the numbers there
+ Execution is getting better!

- These concepts work as alternates, but as a set I can't really see them working together. The colours under the chest stripe don't work when put up against each other because of the hem stripe underneath. The solution is quite simple, which would be eliminating the hem striping.
- I'm glad you decided to include socks, but they don't really work with the white jersey
- The numbers should have some red in them

Rating: 7/10

Vegas Golden Knights Concepts (By: Ryan C.)

+ The striping on both jerseys are entirely identical between the two of them, and normally I don't like that, but I think it works here not just in terms of the pattern, but also colour balancing
+ Part of what makes that so is the addition of the yokes on both jerseys, as it would not work otherwise
+ The rounded numbers didn't work for me at first, but I really like them, particularly on the white jersey
+ Great execution

- I wish there was one way red could have been worked into the striping and numbers
- The one problem with the round numbers comes with how much the white numbers clash with the angled dark primary logo. I certainly wouldn't have used black numbers, but gold might have worked
= Would be neat to see what would happen if you swap the black and grey on the white jerseys striping to see if the balancing is hurt or not by it

Rating: 7.75/10

Philadelphia Flyers Concepts (By: Anthony C.)

+ I don't know what it is about the Flyers logo that works so well with 40s era striping, but it really does here
+ Again, good colour balancing, Anthony worked with the 2012 WC/previous alternate striping and something similar to 1992 Chicago alternate, it works as a vintage jersey and modern
+ Good execution, I think this is my favourite concept Anthony has sent in so far!

- Pants need a logo or some striping
- Again, tv numbers are too small, but I'm sure this is a case where Anthony sent a bunch of concepts in at once and we'll see them improve in the next batch

Rating: 8.5/10 COTW Nom from me!

Washington Capitals Concept (By: Brian W.)

+ The arm striping and back of the chest striping are completely over the top and patriotically exaggerated...I love it
+ While it might have been more trendy in 2009 compared to now, I don't mind the looks of the shortened script. It seems natural as I think 90% of people will call the Caps by the shortened name (similar to the Pens, Sens, Yotes, Buds, Canes, Avs, Jackets, Wings, Iles and Preds), but this one is the least "hip" and most natural and professional on a jersey amongst that group)
+ Good execution

- Because of the addition of the blue void in the front of the chest stripe, it looks like a mouth that's eating the logo; remove that void and you have a winner
- I get why it's up as high as it is, but the NOB is way too close to the manufacturer's logo
-The red used in the piping and chest stripe looks darker than the red in the arm stars, it isn't actually darker, Brian chose to use darker red stitching around it, which I like the idea of but the red stars need it as well.
- Navy numbers need some red in them

Rating: 7.5/10

Washington Capitals Concepts (By: BurkusCircus)

+ Striping on the blue jersey is patriotic while the striping on the white jersey is identical to what the Caps classic jerseys have. They work together in the same way the current Dallas set works
+ Star placement is unique, but also serves a purpose to fill out the side panels
+ Like the inclusion of the star above the logo, even though in European football is used to signify a championship win (guess they'll just have to win)
+ Good execution

- The LA numbers don't work with the Capitals theme, I get you want to move away from the edge numbers, but something more of a traditional block style or even the pre-edge numbers would work better
- Not sure if the pre-edge eagle works as a shoulder patch with the Weagle, it's not bad but I think using the Capitol Building alternate logo recoloured to fit the scheme would work better
- Would be nice to see the back of these jerseys and the white jersey's socks

Rating: 7.5/10

New York Islanders Concepts (By: Anthony C.)

+ This set takes the best of the 2014 SS jerseys and the classic Islanders  look, a good mix of two well liked jerseys
+ Always a fan of orange numbers, something I wish the Islanders would bring back full time
+ Good colour balancing, even with the same coloured numbers on both jerseys
+ Good execution

- TV numbers are too small, but I'm sure
- Would be nice to see the NY patch on the shoulders, and even add some silver to the striping
- Pants need some orange and white

Rating: 8.25/10

Team Switzerland IIHF Concepts (By: Anthony C.)

+ This jersey reminds me of what the French wore in both the World Hockey Championship and a couple of FIFA World Cups, I think this style really works
+ With the subtraction of black from the jerseys, it makes them look a lot cleaner
+ While some may prefer the white cross as a primary logo, I like this script and the inclusion of the cross in the collar insert
+ Good execution

- Tv Numbers are too small
- The shoulders on the white jersey are very blank, and the inclusion of either a red yoke or adding crosses to both shoulders would be awesome
- Would be nice to include striping on the arms. It doesn't have to be exactly the same as the socks and jersey, but something at least (maybe just the thickest stripe?)

Rating: 8/10

Monday: Expansion Goalies, Are They Really That Important? Reviewed by winnipegjets96 on May 22, 2017 Rating: 5


Lucas D. said...

Burkus' Caps for COTW!

Unknown said...

One thing that really bugs me, as a Swiss, about Anthony's Switzerland concept: "Switzerland". That wordmark should read either "SUISSE", as that's what we used when we used a wordmark, or in my opinion the coolest one - "HELVETIA". But English just seems very wrong. Also not having the cross anywhere is a bit weird to me, I would have placed a flag patch on the heart or on the shoulder.

Unknown said...

I'll 2nd Burkus

winnipegjets96 said...

@Dino You bring up an interesting point. In a tournament hosted exclusively in North America by the NHL like the World Cup of Hockey, where 29/31 teams use exclusively English wordmarks and logos, I can see English names of every country being used (didn't actually happen but I could see it). However in the IIHF each country tends to use their mother tongue (i.e.: Polska, Suomi, Rossiya, Norges, Latvijas, Svenska and as you mentioned, Suisse). The 2006 David Aebischer led team wore that exact waved word mark

Unknown said...

I loved Anthony's Flyers. Great to see his work improving.

GEOFF said...

#BringBackTheBlades. Although Mavericks colors on Blues striping could be an interesting look for the #OrangeArmy. It couldn't be worse than what they have been using. I'm just glad their owner hasn't changed their colors to the football teams colors

winnipegjets96 said...

@Goeff I ended up making that concept myself, I hope you enjoy it when it is eventually posted. What are the football colours?

GEOFF said...

@Winnipeg the Mavericks owner is part of the family that owns the Kansas City Chiefs although they should rename them the Criminals. Their colors are red and yellow. Part of the reason the Scouts used those colors along with Blue and White for the Royals.

Looking forward to what you did. Really hope one of them is Orange

Burkus Circus Concepts said...

Thank you Lucas and Vaughn for the noms!!

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