Thursday, December 13, 2007

The end for Cloutier?

The saga of Dan Cloutier, firmly entrenched in the minors in Manchester, N.H., took another turn when Kings President and General Manager Dean Lombardi and assistant GM Ron Hextall met with Cloutier and a doctor over the weekend.

This resulted in a bit of a last-ditch move for the struggling goalie, who hasn't been right since hip surgery.

"They say he's been at about 80%, in and out of the lineup, and we're going to shut him down for at least six weeks," Lombardi said Wednesday in Chicago.
Dan Cloutier just hasn't been right since undergoing hip surgery last December, and at 31, has a long, long road to climb to ever get back to the NHL again.

He's played 12 games in the AHL this season with Manchester, allowed 35 goals in 600 minutes, and has a 3.50 goals against average, a 3-8 record and a .875 save percentage. Cloutier's in the second year of a three-year, $9.3-million deal he signed prior to last season, and will earn all of that money regardless of if he plays in the minors or not.

Amid all of the professional and health woes, Cloutier also became a father for the first time last week, and he'll now have some extended time to spend at home with the little one.

Hip problems, especially ones which require several surgeries, are bad, bad news for goaltenders. Dominik Hasek, Jocelyn Thibault and Antero Niittymaki have all battled hip hurts in recent years and returned, but I don't think it's too far out of line to suggest we've seen the last of Dan Cloutier in the NHL.

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At 2:52 p.m., December 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it's too far out of line to suggest we've seen the last of Dan Cloutier in the NHL

What's the emoticon for "nobody crying."

At 9:19 p.m., December 13, 2007, Blogger Dennis Prouse said...

That ship sailed a while ago, James. His ticket out of the NHL was punched when he got sent down this year. Too many injuries all piled on top of one another -- dude is the Steve McNair of the NHL. All that is left to do is for the Kings to give him an injury settlement and move on.

When Crawford is inevitably fired by the Kings, he can look back on the acquisition of Cloutier as the move that doomed him before he even started.

At 9:33 p.m., December 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like LA wants to solve their problems by putting Cloutier on Long Term Injury for the remainder of his contract to solve their salary cap problem, and stick the insurance company with the bill to solve their financial problem.

Do I smell insurance fraud here? I hope the insurance company fights back, and disallows LA's claim.

At 8:12 a.m., December 14, 2007, Blogger Dennis Prouse said...

The cost of insurance for contracts has skyrocketed recently due to increased claims, so as a result most teams are insuring only their biggest, most expensive contracts. I would be surprised if this one was insured.


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