To me, part of a GM's job when a team has a disappointing season is to somehow find something for people to get excited about again--the team, the fanbase, the everyone. Jedi McPhee blew that out of the water this year--he didn't break up the core like some people thought he would, but he got us some Grit, he got us some Playoffs Thunder, and most importantly he got us a really amazing goalie.
And there he is stopping us from scoring a goal. NOW HE WILL DO THAT TO OTHER TEAMS. Isn't it great?
Reasons to like him:
- He's got some of the best stats this side of the lockout, in fact he has the best save percentage since the lockout with the exception of Tim Thomas--by 0.00002 of a point. Considering the difference between the teams they've played on? Yup. There are 29 other teams that should be worried right about now.
- He's cheap as hell--we all heard the stories. Jedi McPhee. We never should have gotten a goalie that good at that price. Except we did. RUN WITH IT.
- He's Czech! Which means you can officially call our goaltending duo Czechmate :| ...you know. If you wanted to. Seriously though--all the mentoring going on here.
- He's hungry--He knows that his success this year is largely going to determine the rest of his career, plus he has been dying to play for a contender for some time now. That would be us. Let's make some magic/babies/Stanley Cups.
Possible flies in the ointment of my dreams:
- His stats last year were a slight downslide from what he's been doing for most of his career. Slight--and easily attributed to maybe him getting sick of playing for a bottom-feeder team and seeing the new-contract light at the end of the tunnel.
- Age. Older goaltenders certainly haven't been an issue lately, though, have they?
- One-year contract--if we can't win with him this year, chances are we can't hold onto him.
“I don’t think we anticipated being this fortunate." -- George McPhee.
Best case scenario:
What? You expected me to say something else? We're stable in goal in a way we haven't been since Kolzig, which was one of the huge questions from last year. We're all going to sleep better without a goaltending controversy, and honestly, we've seen what Vokoun can do. Now we get to see what he can do when there's a real team in front of him! Scary. In a good way.