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Sitting Duck


The first true deviation from "you win, you're in" produced a victory for the Ducks, but it's hard to credit Giguere as a factor in the W as the Stars took less than 10 shots after solving the netminder three times. Jiggy will likely get the crease until the coaching staff decides he falls short of the new criterion (apparently unrelated to winning or losing).

Daniel, we both agreed that Carlyle should abolish the "you win, you're in" system, but will the new system make it more difficult for Murray to choose which goaltender he should trade?


I don't think it will give Murray too much trouble in picking a goalie to trade. Murray has a tendency to just do what he wants. See the deconstruction of the checking line at last year's trade deadline, and the inexplicable signing of some 8 mediocre free agent defensemen, instead of one good one. When Murray wants to make a move, he makes one.

I complain a lot about Murray, but I think there is one thing I can definitively say about him as a GM: he won't let a free agent just walk. To me, that means that if Giguere just continues to play marginally well, Hiller will definitely get moved, simply because Murray won't let him walk for nothing. The fact is, HIller's impending UFA status makes him great trade bait in the salary cap era. Of course, his occasional flashes of brilliance help with that too, but a goalie rental for a paranoid team like the Blackhawks who almost HAVE to win this year will yield a great return.

I can't help but think that this system will inevitably drive up the value of the goalie who isn't playing. Teams won't be able to see the guy on the bench, and therefore won't be able to dissect his game as much. Instead, Murray can always say "Everyone struggled early on" and try to hide behind the team's overall struggles rather than any specific holes in a goalie's play. In the end, if Jiggy is the one who keeps manning the pipes, then HIller will be moved just to make sure he doesn't leave.



I don't think the new system will be problematic, just because I don't think these two were ever the type of player to flourish in a "you win, you're in" system.  It's a romantic notion that Murray and Carlyle held, believing that one of these guys would go on a winning streak and force the other one out of the crease and, indeed, out of Anaheim.  But nothing Jiggy and Hiller have done suggests that that was the best way to choose between them.  Giguere doesn't perform well without his own confidence, much less the confidence of his coach, and Hiller flourished because he was given the starting job without the pressure of losing it.

I think Giguere will play a stretch until his performance degrades, then Hiller will play a stretch until his performance degrades and then the Ducks will choose and trade.  And they really could have done that in November and had a guy out the door by now.

But I also think that Murray's already picked Hiller, and not just because he's already talked to Burke about Toskala.  Right now, there is every reason to believe that Anaheim will be a rebuilding team next year and not the sort of team that can (or should) keep a 6M man between the pipes.  And if we did keep Giguere, the netminder would have Murray over a barrel at the end of next year, when our goaltending alternative would be Justin Pogge.  

Moving Giguere offers the team more flexibility.  I'm not saying Murray will use that flexibility to pursue Turco or Nabokov this offseason, but there are plenty of situations that are preferable to having 6.6M tied up in the expiring contracts of Giguere and Pogge.