Thursday, July 20, 2006

Clipping the Eagle's Wings

At age 41, Ed Belfour still thinks he can do it all. He has gone through a couple of physicals to prove to teams he's healthy enough after his second back surgery in as many years and there have been some talk that some contracts have been put out on the line. However, with the recent debacle with the Panthers taking back their contract offer, you have to wonder why two teams have passed on him after passing physicals.

Depending on who you listen to, Belfour's demands on his next contract are a little bit too much for the teams. There have been some rumors that Belfour has been requesting to be assured that he would be the #1 goalie for whatever team he is going for. With an oft-injured goalie, you can only assume that some GMs would be tentative in doing so, because it really handcuffs the coach in doing his job and probably does a disservice to the team.

Oddly enough, I don't think Belfour realizes that his best days may have passed him by. Or he does realize it, which is why he is requesting such a thing, knowing that he could be unthroned and then his legacy ending on the bench talking to the soda guy walking up and down the arena where he's at.

That all being said, Belfour is a great insurance policy for a team with a young goaltender(s). Though I'm not suggesting that Belfour would be the mentoring type, but he would definitely lead by example of what and what not to do in the NHL. With his years in the NHL, the experience is invaluable at this point. For a team like the Blues, to have an experience guy who is a proven winner would be a good the right price. I'm sure that philosophically Belfour and Blues' President John Davidson would clash hardcore style, but both feel it's a good fit, then it could be a good match.

Yet, it gets odder and odder as the Panthers are saying that Belfour is still being pursued by the team, while the Red Wings' Assistant GM Jim Nill stated that Belfour was one of 6 or 7 goalies on the team's list.

When all is said and done, we'll see if Belfour's determination to come back will be as strong now as it is by mid-September, but if he is picked up-- there's a good chance he could prove some people and make the best out of a second chance....or third or fourth, for that matter.

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