Oilers Trade Garon to Pittsburgh

Jonathan Willis
January 17 2009 01:55PM

Well, we’ve seen the first real trade of the Steve Tambellini era. In a time where NHL goaltenders are being dropped for nothing on the waiver wire (Sanford) or garnering no more than a 7th round pick (Labarbera), Tambellini actually managed to bring in a decent return. Here’s the trade:

To Pittsburgh: Mathieu Garon

To Edmonton: Dany Sabourin, Ryan Stone, 4th Round Pick

First, from Pittsburgh’s perspective, they obviously believe that Garon has the potential to play better than he has this past season. Garon had a strong game last night against Colorado, and started the year well, but there has been obvious friction between him and the coaching staff, especially goaltending coach Pete Peeters. Pittsburgh’s struggled with poor goaltending all season; Marc-Andre Fleury’s .905 SV% isn’t nearly as good as it needs to be, while veteran backup Dany Sabourin is four games below .500 and has an .898 SV%. Garon is in the final season of a two-year, 1.1M/season contract, and although he’s posted a .895 SV% this season, the past two years he’s had a .907 SV% and .913 SV%. This is a good opportunity for Garon to get back on track on a very talented team.

As far as I can tell, Dany Sabourin is on a one-way contract, albeit one that will pay him a very modest 512K this season, which is its final year. I think that he is sent down to Springfield, where he should help spell the extremely over-worked Devan Dubnyk, and solidify Springfield’s goaltending situation. Sabourin’s an average NHL backup (hovering around the .900 SV% mark the last three seasons) but he’s been excellent in the AHL, topping the .920 SV% mark his last three seasons there. By comparison, Dubnyk’s played nearly every game for Springfield, posting a .903 SV% this season. Additionally, Sabourin serves as built in insurance if Jeff Deslauriers falters over more games.

Ryan Stone is the key player coming back. He was a second-round pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, and likely would have been picked higher if not for a concussion that affected his season. Here’s what the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said about him after his selection:

Stone explained his resume in similar terms. Asked how many of his two dozen fights he had lost, he replied: "I haven't lost too many." Despite narrowly missing being a first-round pick, Stone is a project. His top priority, as he allowed, is improving his skating, a common criticism among scouts. Stone is viewed as a player in the mold of Brad May or Darren McCarty, owning the potential to develop his skills to a respectable level and having the edge to create enough room for himself to make it happen. He is versatile, having spent time on left wing and the power-play point. He also has been praised for helping Brandon win at least two playoff rounds in each of his two years there.

Stone is a restricted free agent after this season. He hasn’t scored at a high level in the AHL; back in 2006-07 he was on pace for his best season offensively when a nasty hand injury forced him out of the line-up. He is a very physical player, not shy about fighting, and is widely regarded as a two-way forward.

The 4th round pick is, as Lowetide says “another bullet in the gun”, but by itself it is a better return than Los Angeles got for the very comparable Jason Labarbera.

The only way I can see this trade is as a hands-down win for the Edmonton Oilers, and also for Mathieu Garon. Anybody who thought they were going to get more than this is greatly overvaluing Garon; in fact, if you’d told me yesterday that this trade was going to happen, I wouldn’t have believed it.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Jonathan Willis
January 17 2009, 02:03PM
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One caveat: I wrote this before seeing that the Islanders had lost their recently signed KHL import to Columbus, so it may be that Sabourin won't clear waivers, and (I'm speculating here) could be swapped to to New York almost immediately.

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#2 Jason Gregor
January 17 2009, 02:10PM
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Not that this means anything more than he was joked at getting sent to the minors, but at least Stone isn't afraid to rip it up.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=3373639

I'm guessing this will make him a favourite for JS and BM.

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#3 Teufel
January 17 2009, 02:10PM
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I like this move. Springfield is in rough shape right now and should Sabourin clear waivers he'll definitely be a big help in net, and Stone should have an immediate impact in Springfield who are in desperate need of depth at forward with the departures of Reddox, Brule and Potulny to the Oilers.

This also helps get rid of the 3 goalie distraction in Edmonton and JDD should get more playing time as the season progresses. This is also a great move for Garon who will definitely see more playing time in Pittsburgh. It's not the blockbuster trade everyone hoped for, but it's a good deal regardless.

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#4 Jason Gregor
January 17 2009, 02:10PM
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Choked...not joked...damn edit button...

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#5 douggy
January 17 2009, 02:11PM
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another crap trade by a struggling club and an embarrassing head office. we need consistent goaltending night in and night out for the rest of the season. they only factor i'm still hoping/betting on, is the rumor that this is all in part of a process to aquire bowmeester and kovalchuck, or gaborik, all whom oilers have made serious offers for! still the worst move made by the klowe mind, was getting rid of smytty for shit all. nillson and omarra? whopdeedoo. the biys on the bus club needs to either smarten up and impress oil fans, or get in to a bus a join a club thats going down like phoenix. at least gretz would go down with you. until then tell me where i can send my resume to become the new oilers gm!

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#6 Fiveandagame
January 17 2009, 02:12PM
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Stone sounds exactly like what the Doctor orders for Springfield and to a lesser extent the Oilers.

He is a solid winger with some size and Grit. (for all of you posters who have been complaining about the Oilers lack of size on the roster, both her and at the farm, this helps address this concern.

A player that bangs a crashes makes room for himself and isn't offensively inept.

This is a very solid trade by Tambellini. I am with Willis, I wouldn't have believed it a day ago considering what goaltenders have been going for.

The three headed monster is dead. And if we get another pick for Sabourin, then we'll have a two picks and a prospect for Garon. Much better than putting him on the waiver wire.

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#7 douggy
January 17 2009, 02:14PM
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also, reddox needs to go back to springfield. top line for a fourth line player? no dice!

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#8 Fiveandagame
January 17 2009, 02:14PM
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@ Jason Gregor: Sounds like a typical Calgarian... Only he apparently can play hockey to some degree.

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#9 douggy
January 17 2009, 02:17PM
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haha. nice burn. calgary sucks.

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#10 Fiveandagame
January 17 2009, 02:18PM
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@ douggy: Yes. Yes they do.

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#11 douggy
January 17 2009, 02:22PM
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i just want to see the oil make the playoffs!

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#12 zig
January 17 2009, 02:30PM
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so do you think columbus is going to try and trade doobie back to NY? Or should tambellini be calling garth snow right now seeing what he's got for sabourin?

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#13 Leonard
January 17 2009, 02:38PM
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Fiveandagame. Much better would have been to trade 39 years old Roly, keep 31 years old Garon and save 2,5 mil.

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#14 Mike
January 17 2009, 02:42PM
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Leonard wrote:

Fiveandagame. Much better would have been to trade 39 years old Roly, keep 31 years old Garon and save 2,5 mil.

Except Roloson might actually be back next year, whereas Garon was almost guaranteed to walk in another 3 months.

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#15 Smokin' Ray
January 17 2009, 02:45PM
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Good trade. Glad that is over.

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#16 n00b1aNpR1n(355
January 17 2009, 02:47PM
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I get the feeling sabourin coul go to the isles IF leclaire is traded to ottawa for vermette or something. Otherwise we will be stuck with sabourin and either leclaire or dubie is traded to the isles by CBJ.

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#17 Leonard
January 17 2009, 02:52PM
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Mike if my couch kept me from playing for over a month at the time I would have walked away too even if I was an Oilers fan for life. Garon is ANOTHER player killed by McT. and K.Lowe.

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#18 Mike
January 17 2009, 02:56PM
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Leonard wrote:

Mike if my couch kept me from playing for over a month at the time I would have walked away too even if I was an Oilers fan for life. Garon is ANOTHER player killed by McT. and K.Lowe.

Ok, fine. So why would you keep him instead of Roloson then if you agree that he's been killed?

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#19 Leonard
January 17 2009, 03:07PM
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Mike. Because Roloson should have been send to AHL or traded 2 month ago and Garon should have been playing so he could get out of his slamp.

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#20 k
January 17 2009, 03:09PM
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tsn.ca said tambo has no intention of bringing danny into town, for either the oil or falcons. he wants to make another trade soon

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#21 Mike
January 17 2009, 03:09PM
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Leonard wrote:

Mike. Because Roloson should have been send to AHL or traded 2 month ago and Garon should have been playing so he could get out of his slamp.

Ah. I get what you're saying. I'm looking at it as "well, that ship has sailed, what do we do with this broken goaltender?"

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#22 jon k
January 17 2009, 03:19PM
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Leonard wrote:

Mike. Because Roloson should have been send to AHL or traded 2 month ago and Garon should have been playing so he could get out of his slamp.

Why the hell would the Oilers want to waive Roloson to send him to the AHL or trade him?

He's the only goalie of the three who has played with any consistency. In case you haven't noticed he's been the clear starter since November.

If you look at Garon's career he's been the model of inconsistency from year to year, what evidence did the Oilers have that he was going to play his way out of his "slump"?

Consider further that Garon wasn't going to re-sign in Edmonton and I think the trading of Garon was the only logical choice in resolving the goalie situation and getting some assets back for a commodity declining in value.

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#23 CurtisS
January 17 2009, 03:23PM
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@Jonathon

The Oilers win this trade hands down

I dont know. The question I ask myself is did this trade make the Oilers better? NO.

It makes the Falcons better, not the Oilers.

To win a trade it has to better your team/best player going to your team. I dont think we won it hands down.

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#24 Mike
January 17 2009, 03:25PM
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CurtisS wrote:

@Jonathon The Oilers win this trade hands down I dont know. The question I ask myself is did this trade make the Oilers better? NO. It makes the Falcons better, not the Oilers. To win a trade it has to better your team/best player going to your team. I dont think we won it hands down.

Well, the 4th in 2011 is the best asset either way, so by that standard we won the trade.

Plus, it frees up a roster spot to pressbox a forward instead of wasting it on a third goalie, which is nice. That makes the oilers better (since they can carry more depth, and hopefully we never see a Stortini-Strudwick-MacIntyre line ever again).

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#25 CurtisS
January 17 2009, 03:25PM
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@Jonathon

I should of noted that:

They got rid of the 3 goaltender issue kinda. We got more than a 7th round pick.

Im just saying that we didnt address any of our team issues. There for we didnt win it hands down.

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#26 Fiveandagame
January 17 2009, 03:32PM
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@ Leonard: Garon who has bounced around the league? Garon who was handed the number 1 position this year and couldn't maintain his play? Garon who refused an extension over the summer?

Garon played well for us last year, be had hardly been the model for consistency. Blame MacT all you want, but he played the better goal tender.

Roloson has far out played Garon this season and if you are going to go into the playoffs you want your best goaltender.

Roloson has been worth his pay check this year and has played at the level we saw when he first arrived.

Roloson has been consitent all year and that is what you need in a goal tender.

Last year we all saw how great Garon was, but he hardly stole any games for us. He made great saves and was great in the shootout....but we were in a shootout, meaning he hardly slammed the door on the other team.

He is a solid back up for pittsburgh and I think he'd be happy. But if it was hard to Move Garon and his salary was only 1.1 mil, how on earth are you going to move Roli?

And how many points would you be willing to gamble to "play" Garon out of his slump? 2-4 -6? We miss the playoffs by two points thats two points you'd regret letting him play out of his slump.

Tambelini got something for which in three months they would have got nothing. Great trade, great for the Oilers and great for Garon.

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#27 Fiveandagame
January 17 2009, 03:38PM
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@ CurtisS: Ryan Stone is a solid role player that had no room to move up on a deep Penguins team. He adds size and Grit and was drafted 32nd overall. Garon was expendable. And considering we didn't trade anything away to get Garon and we got him as a UFA. the Oilers win this hands down.

Last year he had 39pts in 65 games and 129 mins in penalties. This kid could one day be on our fourth line. If we get a future roster player for Garon, that is more than Montreal got for their starting Goaltender last year at the deadline. Huet was got for a 4th round pick.

Again, hands down the Oilers win.

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#28 CurtisS
January 17 2009, 03:45PM
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@ Fiveandagame:

Huet got a 2nd.

We didnt adress any team issues. No faceoff man, no pk'er, no defensive dman, nothing also as of right now he is still going to be on the roster taking up a spot.

Thats why I think we didnt win it hands down.

Lets keep getting future roster players that might pan out while our team has glaring holes in it. That is all.

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#29 jeanshorts
January 17 2009, 03:52PM
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It took a little long for my tastes, but apperently the patience paid off. Solid start to the Tambo era!

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#30 Mike
January 17 2009, 03:55PM
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CurtisS wrote:

@ Fiveandagame: Huet got a 2nd. Lets keep getting future roster players that might pan out while our team has glaring holes in it. That is all.

Huet was also 21-12-6, 2.55, 0.916. That type of stats gets you a 2nd, a 0.895 gets you a 4th.

And Garon didn't have enough value to fix any glaring hole in this team. If all you have to is $20, are you going to be mad when all your mechanic does is change the oil instead of fixing your transmission?

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#31 jeanshorts
January 17 2009, 03:55PM
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@ CurtisS:

I agree that we didn't address any immediate issues (IE. Centreman, someone who understands how a PK works) but just going on the fact that we finally got rid of the three headed monster, and we have a solid back up goalie to use as trade bait, and we got rid of what amounted to a little more than dead weight, how can you not see it as a hands down Oiler win?

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#32 CurtisS
January 17 2009, 04:04PM
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@ jeanshorts:

Like I said. We didnt adress any holes in our team. We also didnt get the best player in the trade. We also picked up 2 players which has our contract situation at 49 now. Not much wiggle room.

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#33 CurtisS
January 17 2009, 04:09PM
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@ Mike:

If all you have to is $20, are you going to be mad when all your mechanic does is change the oil instead of fixing your transmission?

So why take it in to the mechanic than?? Just curious.

Im not saying we didnt do good in the deal. Im just saying for the 4 th or 5 th time we didnt win this deal hands down.

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#34 Travis Dakin
January 17 2009, 04:20PM
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@ CurtisS:

Absolutley a hands down win. This wasn't a deal to fix the needs in all areas. It was a dwal to fix the three goalie system, which it did. And if you read what Willis said, Goalies aren't getting sh*t in trades right now, and Garon would have walked at the end of the season for nothing so getting as much as we did, is a clear win. Garon sucks, which is why this will be his fourth team and now we have more room to address the other needs you are so concerned about.

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#35 me
January 17 2009, 04:22PM
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I don't even think there is any question about this trade.

It really is a win-win for both team.

The Oilers get something for a player that would have walked in three months and was beaten out for the number one team.

The Penguins get an upgrade on the backup position.

I am with Jonathan on this one, this is a better return that I would have imagined and it sends like they may get something for Sabourin as well.

Good trade.

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#36 me
January 17 2009, 04:23PM
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@ me:

Hey guys you need an edit button:)

Its should read "beaten out by the number one goaltender"

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#37 CurtisS
January 17 2009, 04:24PM
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@ Travis Dakin:

Yet we took on 1 extra contract putting us at 49. Max is 50 for those that dont know.

FYI Travis, we still have the 3 goaltender situation for the time being.

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#38 CurtisS
January 17 2009, 04:27PM
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@ me:

There you go. Its a win for both teams. Not a win for the Oilers hands down. Thats what im arguing here.

Look at some previous trades of ours.

Traded for Chris Pronger. We won

Traded for Spacek. We won.

Traded Chris Pronger. We lost

Traded Ryan Symth. We lost

Traded for Roli. We won.

What do all these have in common?? The best player had the team won.

Argue all you want the team that lands the best player wins the trade.

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#39 Leonard
January 17 2009, 04:28PM
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Spector said "This move was long overdue, but now it begs the question: are the Oilers planning to re-sign Dwayne Roloson? Or is next season's goalie tandem to be Sabourin and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers?" Scary!!!

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#40 Leonard
January 17 2009, 04:37PM
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If you think Oilers are going to get somebody on the free agent market tell me when did they manage to get a good player on the market. Did you think why they cant get anyone? Think GM.

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#41 CurtisS
January 17 2009, 04:42PM
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Heres a good little read about the trade.

http://thepipelineshow.blogspot.com/

Pretty much how I feel and what I have said here.

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#42 Jonathan Willis
January 17 2009, 04:46PM
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Leonard wrote:

Much better would have been to trade 39 years old Roly, keep 31 years old Garon and save 2,5 mil.

If this team were to trade Roloson, they're effectively saying that they aren't interested in making the playoffs; Roli's .915 SV% is among the best in the NHL right now.

Garon, on the other hand, hasn't played well at all. Whoevers fault it is, he isn't the guy to hand the reins to if this is a playoff team.

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#43 Cam
January 17 2009, 04:47PM
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Leonard wrote:

If you think Oilers are going to get somebody on the free agent market tell me when did they manage to get a good player on the market. Did you think why they cant get anyone? Think GM.

Well I think Souray was a pretty good FA pickup... but maybe that's just me.

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#44 me
January 17 2009, 04:48PM
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@ CurtisS:

I don't disagree with any of that Curtis but really it was more of a trade to get rid of the goaltending 3 headed monster (and reading between the lines it seems that Sabourin will either be in Springfield or traded in the next couple of days.

Really I expected this trade to be Garon for a lower round draft pick.

It was a small trade so there is really nothing really to get too excited about either way but the fact they got more than I thought is a good thing but I am certainly not going to do cartwheels but for a minor trade I feel it is a good one.

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#45 Jonathan Willis
January 17 2009, 04:49PM
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@ CurtisS:

I see what you're saying about a hands-down win, but at this point, Garon had effectively no value to the Oilers; he's been the worst of their three tenders. I think that in terms of return, Tambellini did a nice job to get something of some value.

Still, this is a trade that fixes a lingering problem (three-headed goaltending tandem) but doesn't address the major issues on the team. But in all honesty, Garon wasn't going to be the piece that fetched the answer to those problems anyway.

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#46 Jonathan Willis
January 17 2009, 04:49PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Not that this means anything more than he was joked at getting sent to the minors, but at least Stone isn’t afraid to rip it up. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=3373639 I’m guessing this will make him a favourite for JS and BM.

Nice find!

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#47 Jonathan Willis
January 17 2009, 04:51PM
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UFA Goaltenders this summer who might fit the Oilers goaltending need(for those of you who are curious):

Fernandez Thomas Khabibulin Roloson Garon Anderson Backstrom Gerber Brion Legace Kolzig Boucher Labarbera

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#48 me
January 17 2009, 04:52PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

This trade wasn't meant to fix any of the problems the Oilers have but the three headed goalie monster on the Oilers roster.

It is what it is.

I have no problem with it from that perspective.

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#49 R-DAWG
January 17 2009, 04:58PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Fernandez-MAYBE Thomas-DEFINATLEY Khabibulin-NOT Roloson-AT LEAST WE KNOW WHAT HE CAN DO! Garon-NOT Anderson-WHO? Backstrom-KILLS US EVERYTIME!! Gerber-NOT ON YOUR LIFE!! Brion-BIRON WOULD FIT NICE Legace-NOT A CHANCE Kolzig-TOO OLD,MIGHT AS WELL SIGN ROLI Boucher-USELESS! Labarbera-NO THANKS
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#50 volfman
January 17 2009, 05:00PM
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CurtisS wrote:

@ Travis Dakin: FYI Travis, we still have the 3 goaltender situation for the time being.

We won't have a 3 goaltender situation when saborin get's sent to the minors. And even if he does get picked up, we still got a lot more than anyone would ever have expected. I kinda expected them to put Garon on waivers about a week ago. Great trade Tambo.

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