As we all should know, Jose Theodore was not in the plans this season. For anyone. Unsigned with the season ready to kick off, Theodore was a case study is bizarre thinking by NHL GMs. The guy finished 11-0 in the previous season, propelled the Washington Capitals into the playoffs, and then... nothing.
The Wild headed out to Finland with a plan in place. Niklas Backstrom starting, Josh Harding the backup, Anton Khudobin at the ready should Harding be traded. Then Harding blew out his knee, and the plan went in the trash.
Theodore was signed at an absolute steal of a deal, likely just to get himself back in the NHL and show he could still play. He did so admirably. Did the HW staff agree?
Make the jump.
#60 / Goalie / Minnesota Wild
Sep 13, 1976
|2010 - Jose Theodore||32||1793||15||11||81||2.71||963||882||.916||1|
JS- GRADE: A- Backstrom's trusty sidekick. Theo was the best signing of the year if you ask me. Perfect fill-in for Backstrom when needed, won us some huge games and damn near stole Backstrom's #1 spot when everyone panicked because he had THREE bad games (that was quite frankly ridiculous if you ask me). It's amazing we were even able to grab ahold of this guy after the season he had in Washington and he came cheap too. Great bargain, helped out big time.
Elise- GRADE: B+ Signed as a late back-up when Josh Harding went down in the pre-season, Theo more than proved his ability and ended up playing 32 games. He played well enough to have some Wild fans wanting him to take over the starting position from Backstrom.
Dan- GRADE: A- Expected a solid backup, but we got alot more than that; we got a goaltending duo of potential starting goaltenders. Theodore was a late-season pickup after Harding went down during pre-season and at times, Theodore was the only thing keeping the Wild in the game.
Bryan- GRADE: B+ Theodore was an amazing steal for Chuck Fletcher. Picked up only after Harding went down for the season, Theo stepped in and filled his role as back up admirably. A 2.71 GAA and 882 saves in 32 appearances are in line with his abilities, yet no one has any idea why he was still available when the Wild signed him. There is a small, yet vocal, contingent of Wild fans that feel Theo is a better goalie than Backstrom, and that he deserves to be the top dog. They are partially right. He deserves to be a number one goalie, but he is not a better goalie than Niklas Backstrom. You can spout off about it all you want, but the stats don't support it, and neither does their play on the ice. Theodore is a damn fine goaltender, there is no doubt there, but he not, in any way, a better goalie than Backstrom.
Nathan- GRADE: B. Shedding (mostly) the Jose Three-or-four moniker, Theodore performed better than anyone expected in his backup role. Providing a night off for Niklas Backstrom without a drop-off in performance, Theodore even motivated some fans to call for him to be the starter. While that wasn't going to happen, one thing is certain: Theodore deserves another shot at being a starter in the NHL. He's a top 30 goalie in the league, about that there is little doubt.
Cumulative GPA: 3.40 B
While I still think they should have gone with Christopher Beckford-Tseu, Theodore turned out to be a great choice. He filled in when needed, carried the team when needed, and did everything a backup is expected to do. That includes challenging the starter for games.
I addressed the "Trade Backstrom" non-sense this morning. Jose Theodore is not, repeat NOT, a better goalie than Niklas Backstrom. Just because Theo's contract is smaller does not make him better. His stats do not suggest he is better. His win-loss record does not suggest he is better. Where this idea that he is better came from, I may never know.
Great goaltender, deserves to be a number one somewhere in the NHL. Just not on the Wild, as they already have their guy. Thanks for the all the fish, Theo. Go find yourself a gig.