Tag: Manny Legace

Manny Legace

Manny Legace’s comeback hopes take a blow, released by Canucks


As soon as Manny Legace accepted a professional tryout with the Canucks, the clock was ticking before his inevitable release. It’s nothing against Legace—he just went to a team that has one of the most solidified goaltending situations in the entire NHL. Roberto Luongo is under contract until the next time Haley’s Comet appears, back-up Cory Schneider could start for half the teams in the league, and Swedish prospect Eddie Lack already has the starting job in the AHL on lockdown. Was the team really going to waste a developmental spot on the Chicago Wolves roster for an aging goaltender trying to make a comeback? Probably not.

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault was an optimist when he spoke to the media about releasing Legace on Friday:

“There seemed to be some interest out there. Other teams are looking for some goaltenders.

“We gave him the opportunity to stay with us and practice or (for) him and his agent to look at something else. He decided look to see if there was something else out there.”

The good news is that Legace has proven in the past that he’s an adequate NHL netminder. While playing most of his career with the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues (with shorts stints in LA and Carolina), Legace has put up decent statistics. He has 197 wins and only 99 regulation losses, a .912 career save percentage, and a 2.41 goals against average. Looking at the body of work, there could be an NHL team interested in kicking the tires before the season starts.

The bad news is he’s a 38-year-old goaltender coming off an average season in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. His 17-22-3 record last season with the Iserlohn Roosters isn’t going to get anyone’s attention and the 2.51 goals against average is pedestrian at best. But an average record and statistics while playing in Germany aren’t resume items that NHL teams want to see.

Take a look around the league.  Legace’s best shot is to catch on with a team that has a solid #1 goaltender and wants a veteran presence as a back-up. Not only will a team need to have a back-up role available, they’ll need to be willing to give the job to the aging Legace and not a prospect that needs seasoning. As if that wasn’t enough, Legace isn’t the only goaltender on the market as teams are trimming their training camp rosters. Pascal Leclaire and Marty Turco are both still available for teams—and are both just as viable as Manny Legace. There’s also the netminders who are competing for jobs who may get cut or waived within the coming weeks (like Ray Emery or Alexander Salak in Chicago).

Unfortunately for Legace, this could be the end of the road for an NHL career that began when he was drafted by the Hartford Whalers way back in 1993. Anything could happen between now and the beginning of the season, but it doesn’t look good for the veteran.

Manny Legace gets a shot to make comeback with Vancouver

Manny Legace

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.

Chris Osgood adapting to a new life as a goalie coach

Chris Osgood

When Chris Osgood called it a career this summer, it set up this season to be the first since the early 90s that he wouldn’t be preparing for a NHL season in goal. With his career over and the debate over whether he’s a Hall Of Fame-caliber goalie set to rage on for the next few years, Osgood is staying in Detroit but changing things up job-wise.

Instead of being the guy leading the way in goal, he’ll be the one teaching the young goalies coming through the system how to do things better. Osgood is jumping on board with the Wings staff as an assistant goalie coach focusing on helping out Wings prospect goalies in the system. For him, this year’s training camp is going to have a decidedly different feel to it.

Gregg Krupa of The Detroit News caught up with Osgood to see how he’s adjusting to his new role and new life as a teacher on the ice.

“I’m excited about it,” he said, flashing a familiar smile.

“It’ll be fun. I’m going to enjoy it. I’m looking forward to going up to Traverse City with the young guys.”

Freshly back from his annual summer stay at his home in British Columbia, Osgood spent much of the Red Wings’ voluntary skate Wednesday talking with the Wings’ longtime goaltending coach, Jim Bedard, whom Osgood is to assist.

“I’m not doing too much, now,” Osgood said. “I’m just learning from Jimmy; just kind of riding shotgun, listening to what he says and learning how to run the drills myself, so when I’m in Toledo and Grand Rapids, I can do that.”

For Osgood, the one thing he’ll be best at teaching younger goalies is how important it is to be mentally tough. Through Osgood’s entire career he was a guy who went from being a starter to being swapped out in favor or someone else with a bigger name only to keep proving himself worthy again and again. In the mid-90s with Detroit he traded spots with Mike Vernon. In the 2000s he left Detroit because the Wings were moving on with guys like Dominik Hasek, Curtis Joseph, and even Manny Legace.

It took until 2008 for Osgood to get his redemption in Detroit when he supplanted Hasek in goal during the playoffs and led the Wings to the Stanley Cup. You don’t go through a career like that without having the thickest of skin, a trait that defined Osgood by the time he retired. If Osgood can help the Red Wings’ youth to have that same brand of mental toughness, even the worst of games will only motivate them to improve and help keep them focused on moving forward.