Ty Conklin Returns to Detroit
Just one day after goaltender Chris Osgood announced his retirement from the NHL, the Detroit Red Wings have announced they have signed Ty Conklin to a one-year deal worth $750,00, as reported by USA Today. Following just two seasons in St. Louis, Conklin returns to Detroit to serves as Jimmy Howard’s backup.
How will history remember the Ty Conklin era in St. Louis?
Unfortunately, not very kindly.
The Blues brought Conklin into the mix following his outstanding season with Detroit in 2008-09 where he went 25-11-2 with a tidy 2.5a GAA. The Blues had hoped that Conklin would bring a reliable and dependable presence between the pipes when called to action, first serving behind Chris Mason in 2009-10 and then serving behind Jaroslav Halak last season.
The role of the backup certainly isn’t an easy one. It’s tough to find a rhythm as your starts could be few and far between. You need to be ready at any moment and have to be capable of bringing your best whenever called upon, whether in an actual start or to come in and stop the bleeding in a blowout.
Conklin’s record in 2009-10 with the Blues was 10-10-2 but he was capable of keeping the Blues in games they probably shouldn’t have been in, as evidenced by his steady GAA of 2.48. He added an outstanding save percentage of .921.
Last year was a completely different story. Now backing Halak, Conklin seemed to lose his confidence and poise in the net. Often he would wander a bit too far out of his own net to play the puck only to lose the puck and set up a scoring opportunity for the opposing team. It wasn’t rare to hear fans shouting “Get back in your net!” at games that Conklin was starting.
The 2010-11 year ended as one of Conklin’s worst seasons, with a 8-8-4 record and an ugly 3.22 GAA. He added a save percentage of .881 – the first time his percentage was below the .900 mark since the 2006-07 season with Buffalo and Columbus.
The news of Conks signing in Detroit comes as no surprise as the Blues made it quite clear prior to the free agency period opening that they were not extending him a new deal. The Blues then made the move to bring in Brian Elliott to compete with Ben Bishop for the backup job, thus all but officially ending Conklin’s time in St. Louis.