Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kings claim Burke

Eric Duhatschek points out the Ron Hextall connection that led to Sean Burke being plucked off waivers by the Los Angeles Kings today, and I suppose it makes sense that the organization wants to deal for a player they were, in some way, familiar with.

Still, it's not hard to count the ways this isn't the right move to make...
  • Burke turns 40 years old at the end of the month
  • He hasn't played an NHL game since April 29
  • The last time he had a save percentage over .900 was prelockout
  • And, most importantly, his few games in the AHL this season have been disastrous. Burke has a 2-5-0 record with Springfield to go along with a 4.52 goals-against average and an .856 save percentage.
There were better, and even cheaper, options available, although the positive here is that Mathieu Garon will be back shortly (perhaps by next week) and play almost all of the games until the end of the year. Barry Brust and his Japanese bench buddy are headed back to the minors.

I've talked about this before, but you can't help but wonder how things might have been just a little bit better for the Kings had they been able to recall Jason LaBarbera when they first ran into injury woes in the crease. Now, it's a lost season in L.A., and they're turning to an oldtimer for help.

I will say this, however: It'll be quite the story if Burke can turn things around.

UPDATE Spector had a solid take on the move on his blog this morning:
At this point, he can't make the Kings goalie situation any worse than it already was, so it's a worthwhile move on the part of GM Dean Lombardi.


At 10:51 p.m., January 18, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was quite obvious but a newer site called reported it last night. Don't know if anyone else had it before them but that definetely gives them some credibility.

At 11:37 a.m., January 19, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It gets tiresome to harp on the importance of goaltending, but it plays itself out time and again. Where would the Canucks be this year without Luongo? Behind the Kings, that's where. The Kings aren't that bad, but when you are getting brutal goaltending like that, you aren't going anywhere. (Marc Crawford let loyalty affect his judgement on Cloutier, and it has cost his new team dearly.) Just look at the Coyotes -- once they got Tellqvist between the pipes and settled things down, things magically got better for them.

Sean Burke has been a great veteran in this league for years, and hopefully he can author a happy ending to his career over the next couple of months. History would suggest, however, that it is going to end badly, as it usually does for 40 year olds playing out the string.


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