Saturday, July 25, 2009

Collecting Pogge

Like most Toronto residents these days, Brian Burke has some household refuse that he needs to get rid of. Justin Pogge will be shipped out of town at some point. Lets hope it's easier for Burke than it has been for all of us.

It's not news that Pogge never found his game in Toronto, a career that started out with so much promise has over the past three years inched it's way from the sports pages to the obituaries.

What's even more painful for Pogge and Leafs Nation, is that Pogge's failure to succeed in the NHL puts him into a very small and unenviable group of Canadian Goaltenders.

Here's a quick list of World Junior goaltenders who have represented Canada over the last 20 years:

1988 - Jimmy Waite
1989 - Stephan Fiset
1990 - Trevor Kidd
1991 - Trevor Kidd, Felix Potvin
1992 - Trevor Kidd
1993 - Manny Legace
1994 - Jamie Storr, Manny Fernandez
1995 - Dan Cloutier, Jamie Storr
1996 - Jose Theodore, Marc Denis
1997 - Martin Biron, Marc Denis
1998 - Roberto Luongo, Mathieu Garon
1999 - Roberto Luongo
2000 - Maxime Ouellet
2001 - Alex Auld, Maxime Ouellet
2002 - Pascal Leclaire
2003 - Marc Andre-Fleury
2004 - Marc Andre-Fleury, Josh Harding
2005 - Jeff Glass
2006 - Justin Pogge
2007 - Carey Price
2008 - Steve Mason

Only Jeff Glass who has played 0 NHL games (that I can find) has been less successful than Pogge who played 4. Maxime Ouellet isn't far behind after playing only 12 NHL games. Everybody else has played 200 games or more, except Leclaire because of injury.

That means that from 1988 to 2008, only three world junior teams failed to produce an NHL goaltender. Not the kind of company Pogge dreamed of keeping when he finished the 2006 World Junior Tournament with a 1.00 GAA.

To make matters worse, when Pogge does finally pack his bags and move out of his Toronto condo, a certain blemish on JFJ's resume will instantly turn to scar tissue.

Trading Tukko Rask for Andrew Raycroft will go down as the stupidest trade of his tenure, especially when you consider that Rask is unbeaten in the NHL (his one win coming against the Leafs), will get a shot at the NHL this year backing up Tim Thomas on a contending team, and does awesome things like this.

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