Goalie Pogge lost in West Coast shuffle

Justin Pogge may be with a new team, but chances are the results will be the same.

The former 2006 World Junior Championships MVP was dealt by the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Anaheim Ducks in the summer and despite a chance for a fresh start, Pogge is likely headed back to familiar territory: the American Hockey League.

And that’s if he isn’t pushed even further down the depth chart.

David McNab, Anaheim’s senior VP of hockey operations, says the Ducks see Pogge as a good No. 3 man.

“You have to have three goalies,” he said. “Your third has to be somebody that the organization is comfortable can play and can win.

“That is what we think we have in Justin. This is strictly to get depth at a position that you have to be strong in.

But there are other young goaltenders in the Ducks’ plans as well.

“Both [Timo] Pielmeier and [Jean-Philippe] Levasseur are really good prospects, as far as developing into being a third goalie and obviously higher.

‘They are both very young in their development stage. Pogge is a lot farther along and more ready to battle to play in the National Hockey League.”

That was the original plan.

With Jean-Sebastien Giguere battling Jonas Hiller for the Ducks starting job and the young prospects making a good showing in camp, Pogge doesn’t find himself in any better a situation than he was in with the Leafs.

And perhaps he’s even lower on the depth chart on the West Coast than he was in Toronto, where he was third behind Vesa Toskala and Curtis Joseph.

“We’re going to give them equal opportunity to play,” coach Randy Carlyle told the Los Angeles Times, speaking of Giguere and Hiller.

“Our plan is to give Giguere another game and make sure Hiller gets another, and we have Pogge here and we have a back-to-back situation.

“We’ll try to spell that out in that matter and we’ll see where the chips fall.”

Pogge saved 19 of 20 shots last Thursday against Vancouver playing half the game, but that has been his only action in five Anaheim pre-season contests.

German goaltender Pielmeier has appeared in more games than Pogge up to this point, making 60 saves on 63 shots.

Anaheim GM Bob Murray spoke highly of Pielmeier, shortly after the Ducks acquired him at last year’s trade deadline.

“We picked up a good, young prospect in Pielmeier from San Jose,” he said. “San Jose always really drafts well when it comes to goaltending. They do an outstanding job and we got the pick of their good, young players.

“They have four good, young ones not in the pros yet and this is the one we wanted, so we got him.”

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By: Daniel Wilson
Posted: Sep 22 2009 8:17 pm
Filed under: Hockey Sports