Monday, January 5, 2015

Emmanuel ''Manny'' Fernandez Jersey Card

In case you haven't heard, the Minnesota Wild are having goaltending issues at the moment. Darcy Kuemper needs to get his confidence back but because of his new contract (and the fact that he played in too many games to not have to clear waivers), he can't be sent down to the AHL for seasoning, and Niklas Backstrom's play is a reflection of his team's defense: not as stellar as they had shown to be in the past.

GM Chuck Fletcher has denied reports he was looking to acquire the Buffalo Sabres' Jhonas Enroth, and Ilya Bryzgalov, who had been hanging around the team waiting for a situation such as this one, signed on with the Anaheim Ducks for the year.

If you can't call the Ghostbusters, who can you call?

With the trend of having former goalies dress up for NHL games, I'd suggest Emmanuel ''Manny'' Fernandez, who has won the Jennings Trophy with the Wild, and whose 2.24 GAA in the team's inaugural season is an NHL record for lowest on a first-year club. He even had a winning record for the expansion team that year. As a matter of fact, despite having played in the team's first six seasons, he only had one year where he didn't have a clear winning record.

And it wasn't all just because of (his uncle) Jacques Lemaire's defense-first system, either: Fernandez' save percentages with the Wild were often remarkable, with peaks of .920 (2000-01), .924 (2002-03) and .919 (2005-06).

Fernandez even won a second Jennings trophy late in his career, with the Boston Bruins in 2008-09, and is barely 40 years old right now, younger than Dominik Hasek, Ed Belfour and Tim Thomas were in their final seasons.

Then again, Hasek and Thomas are also kind of looking for work at the moment...

But we already know Fernandez looks good wearing the Wild's colours:

It's card #13 from the Authentic Game-Worn Jersey sub-set of Pacific's 2002-03 Exclusive set, which I got in a re-pack of cards three or four years ago, and features a red swatch while showing him with the team's green (then-away) uniform.

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