Updating my earlier post, Justin Pogge is now a Duck. The Ducks will send Toronto aconditional sixth-round draft pick in 2011, unless Pogge make 30 starts for Anaheim over the next two seasons, in which case it becomes a third-round pick.
GM Bob Murray is on vacation, so we’ll update with comments from assistant GM David McNab soon.
Update (1:15 p.m.): McNab said he envisions Pogge as a number-three goalie, someone whose experience will give him an edge on Timo Pielmeier and J.P. Levasseur on the minor-league depth chart.
“You have to have three goalies,” said McNab. “The third has to be somebody that the organization is comfortable who can play and can win. This has nothing to do with leading into something else (with J-S Giguere or Jonas Hiller). It’s strictly to get depth at a position you have to be strong in.”
McNab emphasized Pogge’s pedigree. In 2006, the Alberta native led Team Canada to the World Juniors Championship by going 6-0-0 with three shutouts, a 1.00 GAA and .952 save percentage in six games. Among tournament leaders, he ranked first in wins, GAA and save percentage.
That might have led to some undue pressure in hockey-mad Toronto, where he made his NHL debut last season but failed to stick. Regardless, McNab said that Bob Murray has had an eye on Pogge for “a while.”
“It’s always hard to know exactly what one organization’s situation is versus another’s,” McNab said. “It seems Canadian goalies who were the big stars in the World Juniors tournament become instant celebrities. Maybe there was added pressure in that situation.”
The Ducks still have no AHL affiliation agreement in place for next season and appear destined to spread their prospects among multiple teams. Regardless, McNab said he isn’t concerned with Pogge’s potential playing time wherever he lands.
“We got Timo Pielmeier from San Jose in the one trade, but we didn’t feel he was ready to be the third goalie,” McNab said. “We didn’t feel Levasseur was ready to be the third goalie. You don’t want it to be derailed with an injury in goal. It’s pretty tough to get one. Our plan is for him to get more experience, play more in the American League and be ready if it’s needed.”
Asked if the Ducks would add any more goalies to their minor-league depth chart, McNab said that “right now we’re comfortable in what we have.”