Thursday, March 26, 2009

Manny considering retirement... WTF???

Glove tap to Cornelius Hardenbergh for linking over to this quote, buried somewhere in the bowels of the THN website:

“Uh, no. I think this is one of my last runs. You never know, but it’s going to be a summer I think (in which) the whole family is going to have to sit down and really talk about this. It’s been a good run. I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve got to look physically at if I can still accomplish all these things."
- Boston backup goalie Manny Fernandez when asked if he wanted to be a starter in the NHL again.

Well that's an interesting turn of events. Fernandez hardly seemed to be at the end of his rope, having only just recovered from a devastating knee injury and playing pretty well through the first half of the season. At one point he won 7 games in a row, lost one, then won 6 more straight.
But sometime in January it seems that his back started to give out, and he's only started 5 games since 1/08. The numbers in those starts are ugly - 5 losses, 22 goals against, and a save percentage that starts with an 8.

Maybe the severity of Manny's back problem was disguised by Tim Thomas' stranglehold on the starting position. His struggles were downplayed as "maintenance", but his recent performances suggest he's not going to find many bidders on the open market this summer. That leaves him in goalie limbo -- does he try to plug out a few more seasons as a middling backup, or hang 'em up before his time?

In either case, this would seem to cement Tuukka Rask's position as heir-apparent to the backup spot next season. The only question now is how much Thomas is going to be seeking in contract negotiations.

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4 comments:

jamestobrien said...

For some reason, I thought that was going to be about the OTHER Manny. Haha.

Cornelius Hardenbergh said...

Honestly, I see Thomas going somewhere else for the big bucks and Rask in the starting position next year, or some other goalie. It's Thomas's last year to get a HUGE contract, and I wouldn't blame him for it.

At least, when I go through prepare-myself-for-the-worst phases, that's what I think will happen.

Tom said...

james, baseball talk is something you'll likely never see on this blog...

Cornelius - I had the same thoughts, but recently read something saying his style and age will limit the offers he can get on the open market. Apparently GMs are skittish about him being flukey. If he'd be willing to take something like $4m, I think the Bruins should try and keep him. The total for both goalies wouldn't be much different that what we're already paying, and Murray's salary coming off the books will help.

Of course there are other issues with keeping under the cap, so I guess we'll have to wait and see what kind of action the free agents get. But this all plays back to what Ryan Kesler said about pay cuts being a necessity to keep a good team together.

Anonymous said...

Full article at the Boston Herald: http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/hockey/bruins/view.bg?articleid=1161241