Raycroft’s Special Skill
Mirtle doesn’t think very much of the Mike Gillis decision to hire Andrew Raycroft. I agree with his assessment of Raycroft and his views on the importance of a backup goalie. I also agree that there are much better goalies available. I don’t, however, believe the Canucks made a mistake. Raycroft is the most qualified player to fill the role the Canucks will have available.
I think it means the Canucks are on the verge of announcing an extension for Luongo, and that Andrew Raycroft is part of the solution to the Corey Schneider problem. If Luongo signs a long term deal, Schneider is going to have to be traded probably at the draft next year. The Canucks plan to market him this year by giving him all the games Luongo doesn’t play. He’ll be the real backup and keep sharp playing a lot of games in Manitoba.
Raycroft will only play in relief – if Luongo gets hurt or shelled in a game. To manage his role, Raycroft needs to be willing to sign a one year contract at the league minimum. He also has to be lousy enough to clear reverse waivers several times during the season. If Schneider is going to be bouncing up and down to get enough work, the Canuck’s other backup goalie will also be bouncing up and down. Will anyone claim Raycroft on reverse waivers if the Canucks have to pick up half his $500,000 salary? Gillis hopes not. What are the Gillis options given he needs a guy he can demote and promote at will?
Raycroft is really cheap and he really sucks and that’s exactly what the Canucks need this year. That might seem outrageous – it is outrageous – but given the CBA, this is a pretty smart signing. Is there anybody better at clearing waivers? That’s the special skill Raycroft brings to the table this year.