April 15, 2012; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers goalie Jose Theodore (60) makes a save in the first period of game two of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the New Jersey Devils at BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

What To Expect From Jose Theodore Next Season

Throughout his time in the National Hockey League, Jose Theodore has always been one of the most consistent goalies. Being drafted in 1994 by the Montreal Canadiens, Theodore was set to be the goalie of the future. When he first started off his professional career here in the states, Theodore saw split time between the NHL and the AHL. It wasn’t until the turn of the century when Theodore began his rise to becoming a full time starter in the league. Although he recorded more loses than victories in his first season, his impressive 2.40 goals against average proved to people that his has the ability to be a prominent goaltender in the NHL. For Theodore, the 2002 campaign ended up being one of his best years as a pro. In that season he claimed not only the Hart Memorial Trophy, but the Vezina Trophy as well. Unfortunately Theodore’s dominate year ended in a heartbreaking loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Conference Semifinals.

After the lockout season Theodore returned to Montreal with the hopes of taking his team back to the playoffs. For Theodore, the return season was a disappointment as his play dropped significantly forcing the Canadiens to deal him at the trade deadline. Theodore has his bags packed and was ready to play for his new team, the Colorado Avalanche.  What was a fresh start for Theodore, ended up being just another bump in the road on his path to return to glory. During the 07-08 season things began to turn around for Jose. With his contract expiring and his play clearly returning to what it was, Theodore decided to test Free Agency.

It didn’t take long for Theodore to find a new home, as he signed a two year contract with the Washington Capitals on July 1st, 2008. Once the new contract was inked, Theodore began working on his game in order to come back better than ever. In his first season with the Caps Theodore silenced all of the critics, posting a 32-17-5 record along with a 2.87 Goals Against Average. The next season was just as good as the first one. In his second season in a Washington uniform, Theodore recorded an incredible 30-7-7 record while helping the Capitals win a second straight division title. Despite his fantastic regular season play, in his two years as the Capitals starting goalie, Theodore didn’t exactly impress on the big stage. Both postseasons for Theo were the same, start the first game and then be pulled the second. With his contract expiring and his postseason play being horrendous, the Capitals and Theodore went their separate ways.

Once again Theodore was out of work. In need of a job, Theodore decided to sign with the Minnesota Wild, on October 1st shortly before the season began. The contract was only worth one year. The season wasn’t exactly his best, but it also wasn’t his worst. In the 32 games played, Theodore won 15 games while losing 11 games in regulation and three in overtime. When the season was over, Theodore felt that he could once again be a starter in the league and on July 1st, 2012 Theodore was signed by the Florida Panthers.

In his first season as a Panther, Theodore was impressive. Many people believed that coming into the season, Theo would continue to have his struggles. The Panthers felt the opposite and the opportunity that was given to Jose helped boost his confidence and earn the starting job. Throughout the season Theodore continued to make big saves for the Panthers to help them win games. Theodore played a large part in the Panthers capturing their first ever division title. His 22-16-11 record could be improved; however it wasn’t entirely his fault. Theodore had a great average of 2.46 GAA. The lack of offense throughout the season held the Panthers back, causing a lot of pressure to be put on Theodore and boy did he respond well.

Despite the great overall play from Jose last season, he was still being pushed out during the offseason. With rumors swirling of the Panthers being interested in All-Star goalie Roberto Luongo, Theodore’s services seemed to be no longer needed in Florida. Instead of the Panthers going out and acquiring Luongo, the Panthers decided to stay with Theodore. With the weight now off of Theodore’s shoulders, he could solely focus on hockey and the 2012-2013 season with the Florida Panthers. With the season quickly approaching, Theodore is on pace to have another fantastic year with the Panthers. With the Panthers adding some more offensive weapons, it seems that some of the pressure will be taking off of Theodore. This season should be another good one for Jose and in what could be his finally season with the Florida Panthers, look for him to repeat the year that he had last year. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he is able to reach thirty victories this season. It will be interesting to see how Theodore response to the Luongo trade talk, but with Theodore being the professional that he is, be prepared for him to significantly help the Panthers on their road to repeating as division champions.

Thanks For Reading!

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Tags: Florida Panthers Hart Memorial Trophy Jose Theodore Minnesota Wild Montreal Canadiens Roberto Luongo Vezina Trophy Washington Capitals

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