Posts Tagged ‘Conn Smythe’

Viktor Fasth represents the most serious challenge to Jonas Hiller since he showed management they could shed the salary of former Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe award winner J.S. Giguere.

Now it isn’t just Viktor Fasth that Hiller has to beat out. He also has to create a margin of such significance as to justify the $1.6m  difference in their salaries. The main reason Hiller has to excel is Ducks appear to have another quality backup in Frederick Anderson and a future star in John Gibson.

It’s a fascinating confluence of pressure points heightened by the fact Hillsy is entering his contract year.

Thus far in his NHL career Jonas has met every challenge from the mysterious and little understood vertigo to his 73 game iron man performance in 2011-12.

This year he’s challenged by his health, quality competition on our Ducks depth chart to a very thin market for goaltenders, despite the obvious need of many teams.

It is just as easy to imagine Hiller traded on or before the deadline or leaving as a UFA, as it is to imagining him taking on all comers and having a career year.

It isn’t wise to bet against a guy with such a track record of rising to and thriving on challenges. While this one is daunting, I still would bet against Jonas Hiller.

Just like Hiller proved and a wonky hip proved we could move on from Giggy; it’s up to Fasth, Anderson and Gibson to prove we can move on from Hiller.

This is the brutal part of the business of hockey. You come to appreciate and respect a guy, like most of us did Bobby Ryan, and there comes a time when the best interest of the team is arguably, to move on.

Note: This post was drafted and published after reading this at Pro Hockey Talk. Factual reporting errors aside, I just didn’t think the story gave Hillsy his due. Wasn’t going to link it but google alerts is hyping it.

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If there’s anything to notions of reciprocity, karma or the colloquial what goes around, come around, Henry Samueli will one day enter the HHOF as a builder. On that day he’ll take a well-earned acknowledgment alongside such hockey legends, as Frederick Stanley, 16 Early of Derby, Conn Smythe, Bill Hewitt, Frank Calder, Frank J. Selke, Bruce Norris and others too numerous to list here.

The “prefers to work quietly behind the scenes” Ducks owner stepped out for a chat with OCR’s Eric Stephens.

“We’ll know this year for sure what the impact (CBA) is,” Samueli said in an interview with the OC Register. “We’re optimistic we’ll turn the corner and start heading in the other direction.”

Under the new CBA our Ducks qualify for revenue sharing. Their anticipated share could be north of $20m! Samueli could hardly be criticized if he pocketed Ducks revenue share to realize some ROI after years of near annual 8 figure losses.

Since acquiring our Ducks in 2005, Samueli has built a now 28 team high school hockey league. He is the driving force behind making hockey available to kids throughout Orange County and SoCal. His impact on youth hockey now exceeds that of Wayne Gretzky and perhaps the entire NHL. By winning the Stanley Cup with a California franchise, Samueli also accomplished what TGO didn’t.

His philanthropy is legendary. We mention some of it, to honor him by bringing attention to those causes he supports. The schools of engineering at UCLA and UC-Irvine are named for him after he made a cumulative $50m in “no-strings” donations. He provided the founding donation for the Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library at Chapman University.

Along with bride Susan, the Samuelis established the Center for Integrative Medicine at UC-Irvine, Samueli Institute of Information Biology in Washinton, DC, contributed to the John Wayne Cancer Institute’s ground breaking research and treatment.

This blog’s support for Touch of Home is encouraged in part by our Ducks support for the military. I have also performed service pro bono for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) another activity supported by the Samuelis.

You can learn more of Henry and Susan Samueli’s philanthropy here.

This blog has and will, from time to time, disagree with some decisions made the Ducks.org. Have no doubt this blog will continue to call it as we see it in the future as well. None of our occasional criticism dims our overall appreciation and respect for one hockey’s all time great builders.

Note: I once or perhaps even a handful of times, editorialized that our Ducks support of various charitable organizations impressed me as insincere and a product of a self-serving marketing strategy. Obviously, I was very wrong.