FanPost

Leights or Backlund?

HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION:

Boosh goes down in practice with a groin pull. What do we do. We just bumped Leights down, so the easy move is to call him back up right? Well, no. If you're a contributing member to this site, then you already know about re-entry waivers (and you should just skip this paragraph), if not, I'll break it down as simply as possible. There are two main types of contracts: One-Way and Two-Way. Two way means a player can be bumped up and down from the NHL to the AHL with out any problems. In order for a one way player to be sent from the AHL, he must clear waivers, meaning any NHL team (starting with the worst, working up to the best) has the option of claiming that player to be on their team. This is how the Flyers acquired Leights last year, and players get claimed off waivers all the time. That said, the reason they don't get claimed more often is because the new team (the team that claimed the player) must pick up the entire salary. Because most guys who do get sent down with one way deals are sent because of their high salaries, they often do not get claimed. So when the player is re-called to the big club, its the same deal, right? Well... wrong again. In order for a player to be re-called he must be put on re-entry waivers. Re-entry waivers are similar to the original waiver rules, except this time, if the player is claimed the new team and old team SPLIT the salary for the remainder of the contract. So if Leights is called up and claimed by anyone, we need to pay half of his 2 year, 1.55 per year deal, for not just this year but next year too. We've made this mistake when Randy Jones was on the books for over three million and he was claimed on Re-Entry waivers, and the people involved with this site have yet to let Homer live that horrible mistake down.

So back to the hypothetical situation... a goalie injury. Lets say Boosh gets hurt for a few weeks and we need to call up a goalie. Who do we go with? Stats in this instance are useless? Why? Because what can you possibly compare? There is no sample size on our goalies. There is no statistical analysis possible for this situation. How and why you ask? Just look at the goalies involved. Its one of two guys: Johan Backlund or Michael Leighton. Backlund, a 30-year-old-would-be-rookie has had one start in his NHL carrier and played pretty good vs. the Pens last year  a groin injury in the second period sidelined him for a few weeks. He was the Phantoms MVP with decent numbers, and has been lit up like a Christmas tree this year (but so would any goalie on the planet for that team). Michael Leighton is returning from an injury and looked very so-so (although he did end the game well) in his only start this year. This is a gut instinct decision on which goalie is legitimately better. Leights has the NHL experience but the worse contract scenario with his having to be put through re-entry waivers.

If Boosh is only out for a week or so and we have to have a legitmate "backup" come in and open a door, we're not going to call up either of these guys. Backlund has a 1-way deal also, which means he can go up ONCE. Then to go back down he's gotta clear waivers. We'd call up Nicola Riopel (or any other of our 15 two-way goalies). That isn't my question. Lets say its the end of the year. Bob is the clear one Boosh is the two. Bob goes down with a season ending injury. We call up the door opener. Boosh goes down with a season ender. Who do you call up? Risk Leights or go with Backlund?

This item was written by a member of this community and is not necessarily endorsed by <em>Broad Street Hockey</em>.

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