Not so long ago, there was no room in a team's crease for two No. 1 goalies. It was very rare for teams to have two starters on the roster. But in today's game, almost every NHL squad now carries two netminders who are capable of being the go-to guy during the grueling 82-game schedule.
The same can be said when it comes to goalie coaches. Most teams only had room for one guy to instruct the organization's goalies. But the Carolina Hurricanes may be ushering in a new trend when it hired Tom Barrasso as the organization's second goalie tutor. Barrasso will join Greg Stefan in instructing the organization’s goalies.
Barrasso was named the Hurricanes’ Director of Goaltender Development. He will be responsible for working with the non-NHL goaltenders in the team's system. Stefan is responsible for the NHL goalies.
"It's going to give me a chance to work with the younger goalies in the organization while allowing Greg Stefan to remain with the big club and focus his attention to what's happening with the Hurricanes," Barrasso said. "That will free me up to work with the younger guys and hopefully build some depth in the goaltending department, which is really the idea here."
Carolina GM Jim Rutherford believes the 'Canes couldn't have picked a better guy for the unique job, as Barrasso was one of the top NHL goalies during his career.
"Tom brings instant credibility to his new position, and is somebody that the goaltenders in our system will be able to respect and learn from," said Rutherford. "He has re-located his family to Raleigh and we are happy that he has chosen to continue his life in hockey with our organization."
With 369 career wins, Barrasso ranks 13th on the NHL’s all-time wins list. He played on back-to-back Stanley Cup championship teams with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and ’92.
Barrasso spent 19 seasons in the NHL, finishing with a 369-277-86 career regular-season record, a 3.24 goals-against average, an .892 save percentage and 38 shutouts in 777 games. He was the first American-born goaltender to reach 300 wins, and was 61-54 with a 3.01 GAA and six shutouts in 119 career playoff games.
Barrasso was originally drafted fifth overall by the Buffalo Sabres out of Acton-Boxborough High School in 1983, at the time the highest goaltender ever selected in an Entry Draft. The teenager made his NHL debut with the Sabres straight out of high school the following season, going 26-12-3 for the Sabres, while also picking up a 2.84 GAA, a Calder Trophy and a Vezina Trophy in his first year of action.
Barrasso went on to play with six NHL teams (Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Carolina, Toronto and St. Louis), playing with Carolina in 2001-02.
"Tom has had a great career, as people who follow the Penguins know,” Rutherford said. “He's won Stanley Cups, was a high draft pick at a very young age out of high school and when you look at his stats and what he's done, he's really been one of the top goalies over the last 10 or 20 years. What a great background and a great base to pass onto our young goalies."
”We're developing goalies from within the organization which will hopefully put us in a position where we'll never have to go out and trade to get a top-notch goalie because we'll already have them in our system," Barrasso said.
Three of the four goaltending prospects -- Daniel Manzato, Kevin Nastiuk and Justin Peters -- Barrasso will be asked to develop were selected by the Hurricanes in recent drafts.
Peters appears to be the jewel of the bunch. He was taken in the second round of the 2004 Entry Draft (38th overall). Last season, Peters spent most of the year with the AHL's Albany River Rats, posting 10 wins and 18 losses in 34 games, with a 3.26 goals-against average, an .886 save percentage and one shutout.
Around the Southeast -- Thrashers defenseman Niclas Havelid doesn't only dish out assists on the ice. He also helps out in a big way in the Atlanta community through his Havelid's Helpers program, where he teams with Habitat for Humanity in a mission of eliminating homelessness and making decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Last Saturday, Havelid visited with the Littleton family and welcomed them to their new home in Southeast Atlanta – a home which was built by Habitat for Humanity. The Littletons were displaced when Hurricane Katrina destroyed their New Orleans home two years ago. Havelid, along with other members of the Thrashers organization, including GM Don Waddell, participated in pre-build activities for the home on Nov. 15, 2006. … The Washington Capitals will give local amateur hockey teams an opportunity to receive some on-ice instruction from one of their players through a new program they launched last week called “Coached by a Cap.” The Washington player will not only attend one of the team's practices and participate in skills and drills sessions, he also will be available to sign autographs and answer whatever questions the kids have. Coached by a Cap will run from October through February and is part of the Capitals' Pucks to Bucks program. For more information about Coached by a Cap contact Tim Bronaugh at 202.266.2341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.