If you don’t remember Manny Legace, perhaps you might recall him as a goalie for the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues. Legace was once the starter for both teams for a spell and while he did all right in both places, he wasn’t able to carry either team to wild success. Legace did win a Stanley Cup in 2002 with Detroit backing up Dominik Hasek, but as a starter his two best seasons came in 2003-2004 and 2005-2006. His 05-06 season saw him get pushes for being a Vezina finalist after going 37-8-3 with a 2.19 goals against average and a .915 save percentage.
After spending last season in Germany after failing to win a job with the New York Islanders out of training camp, Legace is getting another chance to try and crack through with an NHL team. While it’s great news for Legace that he’s getting a tryout, the unfortunate part comes with which team he’s getting a shot with: Vancouver.
Chuck Pleiness of the Macomb Daily Times in Michigan has the details and thoughts from Legace.
“It’s awesome,” Legace said. “I got the call when I was on the golf course and they invited me. They’ve got four or five goalies coming to camp. We’ll see how it goes.”
Last season, Legace attended the New York Islanders’ camp before being released. He played last season in Germany.
“It’s a big twist, a whole different mindset,” Legace said. “I’ve got to get ready for an NHL camp.”
Last year, Legace played for the Iserlohn Roosters in the German professional league. There he put up a 2.55 goals against average while winning 17 out of 40 games played. Going into camp with the Canucks, Legace is almost certainly playing for a job in the AHL as Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider have positions locked up in the NHL while prospect Eddie Lack will most likely be the starter in AHL Chicago.
If Legace can play well enough and earn a spot in the AHL, he’d most likely wind up being the first guy called up in case of injury for Vancouver. With Lack being just 23 years-old and getting him more starts in the AHL to be better prepared to be a NHL-level goalie, bringing him up to backup either Luongo or Schneider wouldn’t do him any good. That’s where Legace could potentially come into play but he’ll have to prove himself this September in camp to show he can handle it.
From the NHL:
Pretty veteran crew, including three returnees from last year’s final.
Per the NHL, O’Halloran and O’Rourke will call tonight’s series opener from Consol.
PITTSBURGH — When Pete DeBoer was hired to coach the San Jose Sharks, he wasn’t totally cognizant of how much heartbreak the fan base had experienced throughout the years.
Now he knows.
“First year in the community, I didn’t realize kind of the baggage that was carried around,” DeBoer said this morning ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. “Twenty-five-year season-ticket holders coming up to you with tears in their eyes and crying.”
The Sharks, of course, have never been this far in the playoffs. Prior to this year, they’d made it three times to the Western Conference Final, losing each time.
More painful were the first-round exits. Like in 2009 when they won the Presidents’ Trophy and got knocked out by the Ducks, and two years ago when they led the Kings 3-0 before dropping four straight.
It was only after the Sharks beat the Blues that DeBoer fully realized the “gravity of what they’ve been through” as fans in San Jose, and “how important this is to them.”
Not that he’s satisfied with getting this far.
“The business at hand now is to get off on the right foot, plant the right seeds for this series, impose our game,” he said. “Every series is the same — it’s whatever team can impose their game on the other team the quickest and for the longest. That’s our goal here tonight.”
Related: For Pete DeBoer, San Jose was the perfect landing spot
Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar will spend part of his offseason trying to help Slovenia qualify for the Olympics.
RTV Slovenia has the story here.
The qualification games will be played September 1-4 in Minsk. Slovenia is in a group with Belarus, Denmark and Poland. The winner of the group will qualify for the Olympics.
The NHL reportedly has no issue with Kopitar’s participation, even though the league has yet to commit to sending its players to Pyeongchang.
Slovenia made its Olympic debut in ice hockey at the 2014 Games in Sochi.
Kopitar will also represent Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup later in September.
Related: Slovenia beats Slovakia for historic win
PITTSBURGH — Matt Nieto is healthy, and ready to go.
But it doesn’t look like he’ll go tonight.
The San Jose Sharks are unlikely to make any lineup changes for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in Pittsburgh — at Monday’s optional morning skate, Nieto stayed out late with the extras while the guy he’d (presumably) replace in the lineup, Dainius Zubrus, told NHL.com he was in.
Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer wouldn’t reveal any lineup decisions during his morning media availability, instead talking up both Nieto (for his speed) and Zubrus (for his “heavy” game), adding he liked the versatility the two give the club on a night-by-night basis.
Nieto suffered an upper-body injury in Game 6 of the Nashville series, and missed all of the Western Conference Final.
Prior to getting hurt, he had three points in 11 games — this after a regular season in which he scored eight goals and 17 points in 67 games.