Monday, June 30, 2008

A Look Back: Boston, career suicide for promising goaltenders.

Back in 2004, Andrew "Rayzor" Raycroft, seemed like the next big thing in goaltending. "Seemed" is the important word. After being dealt to Toronto, Rayzor became dull. His last three years have been dismal, and now the word on the street is that he'll play in Russia next year along with another former "promising" goaltender, John Graham. This news made me a bit nostalgic as I took a trip down memory lane, remembering a few failed Bruins goaltenders of the past....

Jim Carey, born May 31st, 1974
6ft 2, 190 lbs
Interesting Fact: Beat out Hasek for Vezina Trophy

Carey began his promising career in the height of Hasek's net domination. After turning heads with his outstanding play in Washington, he stole some of the limelight from Hasek and was able to wrangle the Vezina in 1996. While in Washington, he averaged a .909 save percentage. The subsequent year he was in a blockbuster trade which shipped off fan favorite Adam Oates, Bill Ranford and Rick Tocchet to Washington and Carey Boston.
And that is when shit hit the fan for young Carey. The Vezina winner looked like a fish in front of the B's net. In his 4 years with the B's, he played only 69 games, more than half of those being with the Baby B's. After an embarrassing 4 years, he signed with the Blues, played 4 games and was never to be heard from again.

Parting Quote:
"The funny thing about that trade was that when David said he wanted [veteran goalie] Bill Ranford, I said we had to have a goalie back and David asked if I wanted Kolzig or Carey,'' Bruins GM Harry Sinden said. ``Of course, I went for the younger guy who had won the Vezina. Obviously, that wasn't one of my smarter decisions.''

Byron Dafoe, born February 25th, 1971
5ft 11, 190 lbs
Interesting fact: Memorable on ice fight with opposing goaltender Olaf Kolzig who was later Dafoe's Best Man at his wedding.

Out of all the Bruins failed goaltenders, Lord Byron probably garnered the most success with a solid 4 year run with the B's. Dafoe, also brought up by the Caps, was picked up by the B's in 1997 after they realized Carey's goose was cooked. While Dafoe found some success with the B's (he was a Vezina finalist in 1999), he signed with the Thrashers in 2002 as a UFA. He retired in 2004 after being plagued with injuries.

Parting Quote:
"Couldn't match his Vezina Trophy-finalist status from '98-99, possibly because he felt the effects of his early-season contract holdout. A late-season knee injury also didn't help. An aggressive and athletic butterfly-style puck stopper, Dafoe has chalked up 20 shutouts in his career thus far. Trade rumors surrounded him last season. Dafoe will want to bounce back with a vengeance after his worst campaign in Beantown.

And last but certainly not least...

Blaine Lacher, born September 5th, 1970
6ft 1, 205 lbs
Interesting Fact: Was dubbed, Let 'Em In Lacher in 1995.

Not much to say about Blaine other than, he was a stand out goaltender in college and much was expected from him when he reached the NHL. While he started out strong in goal for the B's it was short lived. His last 10 games with the B's yielded a 3.93 GAA and .845 Save percentage. He then signed with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 1995 where things went from bad to worse. So bad, he was dubbed, Let 'Em in Lacher. ouch...
After winning 1 game with the Griffins, he retired from hockey after only 3 years in the pros.

Parting Quote:
"If the Bruins don't make a deal for an established goalie, Lacher (barring a terrible training camp) looms as the favorite to win the starting job. The club likes Lacher's feisty attitude, which has drawn comparisons to Ron Hextall. He is big (6-foot-1, 200 pounds), cocky and confident that he can stand the pressure of playing in Boston. He posted a 1.98 goals-against average for Lake Superior State last year."

There are several more failed B's goaltenders worth mentioning, but after writing the third, I realized that this is fucking depressing. It also brought on fears of this coming season and a potential Manny debacle.

So I am going to end this piece, get another cup of coffee, write a poem about Lucic, and find my happy B's place.

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