Random stuff: KHL goaltenders

Jonathan Willis
January 17 2009 06:00AM

So I’ll admit off the top that this post has almost nothing to do with the Edmonton Oilers specifically, beyond the fact that it could count as beating the dead “Garon has no trade value at all” horse. It is hockey-related though, and features Ray Emery!

Since I mentioned Ray Emery, let’s start with him. He recently played in the incredibly cool looking KHL All-Star game, and his rather nice KHL numbers have sparked rumours of an NHL return next season. Still, for any GMs with an interest in Emery, I’d advise that they at least check out another goalie.

  • Emery: 19-6-0, 1.99 GAA, 0.929 SV%
  • Other Guy: 11-4-6, 1.69 GAA, 0.941 SV%

The other guy is Vitaly Kolesnik, a Kazakh goaltender who has spent the last two seasons in Russia after coming to North America in 2005-06. Kolesnik was fairly good; he went 3-3 for Colorado (3.24 GAA, .888 SV%) and outplayed the other six goaltenders on his AHL team, posting a .917 SV% and being the only goaltender with a better than .500 record (it may also be worth noting that Cam Ward went 0-2 with a .915 SV% on that team).

I don’t mean to take anything away from Emery, because Kolesnik is a good goaltender too, but I think it’s probably fair to say that the gaudy statistics Emery has put up have more to do with the quality of his team than a superhuman performance on his part.

Of course, NHL GMs make funny decisions all the time with goaltenders. Consider the New York Islanders, who decided to bring back Wade Dubielewicz, who had been recently bought out of his KHL contract. Here’s Dubielewicz, compared to his teammate Stanislav Galimov:

  • Dubielewicz: 11-8-3, 2.77 GAA, 0.892 SV%
  • Galimov: 17-3-1, 1.91 GAA, 0.924 SV%

Obviously, there’s a transition involved to playing in Russia. Perhaps Dubielewicz’s play was affected by off-ice issues. Still, it seems odd to me that the Islanders would chose to sign Dubielewicz over, say, claiming Curtis Sanford, when Dubielewicz was massively outplayed by Galimov, an undrafted player who only established himself as a KHL-level netminder this season (last season, he’d sunk as low as the third-tier Russian league at one point). Would it have been that hard to finagle Mathieu Garon or Jeff Deslauriers out of Edmonton?

Another North American player over in the KHL right now is Tyler Moss. Moss was once Oilers’ property (acquired for Peter Sarno) and he played for the Roadrunners during the NHL lockout. He’s had cups of coffee in the NHL (most notably with the 1998-99 Calgary Flames), but mostly he’s been an above-average AHL net-minder. Here’s Moss, compared to his teammate Sergei Borisov:

  • Moss: 8-13-3, 2.77 GAA, .903 SV%
  • Borisov: 8-10-1, 2.33 GAA, .916 SV%

I point this out because Borisov is an undrafted 23-year old, and right now he’s one of the better goaltenders in what is either the second-best or third-best league in the world. Galimov, who I pointed out above, is an undrafted 20-year old, and he’s right in Emery territory stats-wise.

I believe this is a big part of the reason why top-level AHL goalies and NHL backups have minimal trade value -- there are a ton of capable goaltenders over in Europe right now. Often, they come over to North America and immediately post incredible numbers. If I were an NHL GM, I’d never draft a goaltender, with the exception of those franchise-level talents that typically go within the first five picks.

Most teams have a goaltenders in Europe who could step in immediately at the backup level -- we’ve seen Jussi Markkanen do it here in Edmonton, and I’m fairly sure that Bjorn Bjurling would be decent as a backup/AHL-level goalie if the Oilers system wasn’t already jammed.

There’s no upside to drafting and developing average goaltenders. They’re available as free agents (Mathieu Garon), for low cost in the trade market (Jason Labarbera) or off the waiver wire (Curtis Sanford). That’s a big part of the reason why I don’t understand the Oilers’ reluctance to waive Garon, or trade away Jeff Deslauriers. Do either offer anything not cheaply available on the free agent market, or in Europe, this summer?

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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 B-rad
January 17 2009, 07:31AM
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Please forward to the following address:

KLo and Tambo Rexall EDMONTON, ALBERTA.

This is a very good read. Thanks.

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#2 Smokin' Ray
January 17 2009, 08:05AM
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Once again my mind is blown Willis. That made so much sense.

If only there was some top six guys playing somewhere in a hole in Siberia...

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#3 the human torch
January 17 2009, 08:27AM
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"That’s a big part of the reason why I don’t understand the Oilers’ reluctance to waive Garon, or trade away Jeff Deslauriers."

It's because the Oilers' management hasn't had a clue what it's doing since 2006.

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#4 Your wish
January 17 2009, 09:22AM
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@ the human torch: is Tambo's comman. Garon went to Pitsburg this morning.

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#5 Your wish
January 17 2009, 09:23AM
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http://oilers.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=404779

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#6 Your wish
January 17 2009, 09:24AM
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It's early, pardon the spelling please.

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#7 BUCK75
January 17 2009, 09:37AM
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'Bout time we got rid of a goalie. Plus we get 2 guys back? Unusual looking at the last couple of goalie transactions around the league.

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#8 kingnib39
January 17 2009, 09:54AM
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another trade for ho hum who? gota keep at the bottom of the food chain

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#9 Drago
January 17 2009, 10:02AM
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I am amazed they got anything for Garon...let alone 2 players and a 4th. Please for the love of all that is sane tell me Sabourin can be sent to the minors. What kind of player is Stone? is he anything other than Springfield material?

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#10 NoPantsTuesday
January 17 2009, 10:08AM
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So we trade Garon for a sub-par goaltender and a future 4th line center. This fixes our problems how exactly?

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#11 Drago
January 17 2009, 10:31AM
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@ NoPantsTuesday:

exactly what did you think Garon was going to be traded for? I am flat out shocked with the return. Considering LaBarbera got a 7th, Sanford and Gerber were waived, and Columbus couldn't find a taker for Norrena so he went to Europe.

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#12 Didsdave
January 17 2009, 10:35AM
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I'm confused. Another back-up goaltender, and another Reddox. Like someone else said "It's hard to be an Oilers fan"

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#13 B.C.B.
January 17 2009, 10:36AM
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This is a first step. Get rid of the three headed monster, and find a AHL goaltender to help out Dubnyck. It clears up a roster space, which will be need for Brule when Hemsky and Pisani come back and Brule has played past his no waive elegibility.

Garon is not the goal tender of the future here. Maybe Tambo will look to Russia or Sweden in the off season.

Jonathon: I disagree with you about not drafting goaltenders. We should draft Euro tenders with late round draft picks and stop wasting high first and low seconds on them.

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#14 dr_oil
January 17 2009, 10:44AM
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I can't believe some on here are upset with the return. Why would you think trading Garon, someone who played barely 10 games this year, would achieve more than AHL help or a 4th liner???? I think the return is very good, considering.

We solved the 3 goalie situation, finally. What more would you want out of that trade?

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#15 B-rad
January 17 2009, 11:10AM
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You have to assume that Dany can be sent to the minors, or they wouldn't have made the deal. Good return for Garon, I didn't expect that much.

In the cap world, it's good to have a ll the picks you can, even though it's hit or miss with late rounds. More picks mean a better chance at getting a winner.,

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#16 Fiveandagame
January 17 2009, 11:11AM
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Considering what Huet went for last year at the deadline this is steal of a deal for Tambilini.

Ryan Stone is a quality player. He was drafted 32 over all in 2003 which was a deep draft. He's 23. Scores, is a plus player and puts up penalty mins.

He's a tougher version of Brodziak, With the signing of Staal in Pittsburgh they are WAY deep at center, so Stone had no where to move up.

great trade, I just hope that means Sabourin is being sent down.

These two guys should help the Falcons immensely, and from Willis's earlier article about Springfield, they need all the help they can get.

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#17 socaldave
January 17 2009, 11:12AM
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to say I'm less than impressed would be an understatement. let's hope the wheeling and dealing is just getting started!

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#18 raged
January 17 2009, 11:15AM
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I agree with you guys on the return, not bad, considering what LA got, but the motivation for it? Sure JDD can officially be our number 2, but Roli has looked worn out his last few starts. I would have kept Garon this season, and let him go for nothing in the summer. We needed him more than we need Stone. If JDD can step up were fine though

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#19 B-rad
January 17 2009, 11:21AM
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As I stated before it's a cap world, so it is really hard to pull off blockbuster trades. We have to slowly plug holes, and that means from the bottom up, because Springfield needs our help as much as we need them to be a qaulity developmental team. So again, nice trade Tambo.

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#20 T W
January 17 2009, 11:21AM
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TW doesn't agree with this trade. TW thinks that MacTavish should have been the first to go. This club is in a lot of trouble and it is only going to get worse. Rolison on a young team with MacTavish is not going to work. time for a new team. say Calgary?

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#21 B-rad
January 17 2009, 11:23AM
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@ T W: Your negativity is mind numbing.

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#22 Bob Sakimano
January 17 2009, 11:25AM
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this move is nothing more than a depth move, i expect something else, bigger, to come down the pipe.

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#23 Pokie Reddik
January 17 2009, 11:29AM
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I guess Dan Tencer was right. It looks like Penguins will challange for the cup now once they get rid of thier problem Craig Therian. Fire MacT NOW!

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#24 Chris
January 17 2009, 11:33AM
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Didn't Edmonton waste our first overall pick in 2004 taking Dubnyk istead of Wolski, Radulov, or Meszarous? With all these guys in Europe and Labarbra being worth only a seven round pick... seems like a brutal decision to me. The Oilers had two first round picks that year that they turned into a middling goalie prospect, and Schremp. Another huge lost oppertunity. Green in Washington looked pretty good the other night as well.

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#25 Pokie Reddik
January 17 2009, 11:38AM
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This organization is a joke, Katz was supposed to bring us out of stone age but now we are going back, we need to gut this orgazation from the top LOWE to Joey Moss

PATHETIC

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#26 Lofty
January 17 2009, 11:48AM
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I love how some of you are blaming MacT for the trade... Retards!

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#27 Murphey's Law.
January 17 2009, 11:50AM
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Now watch as I turn Roli's game into crap!

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#28 Pokie Reddik
January 17 2009, 11:53AM
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Lofty wrote:

I love how some of you are blaming MacT for the trade… Retards!

MacT can only coach grinders or a veteran team , like the 06 team, I feel sorry for all you Oiler fans who love MacCrapper, you will go no where with this team, Katz cut your hair fire all the bums and welcome to the 21st century

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#29 Pokie Reddik
January 17 2009, 11:56AM
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Spacek- now in Buffalo Tardstrom- not sure Smith- Ottawa Pronger- Ducks Staois- still an Oiler???? worst one of these 6 defensmen and he is still with the Oiler. Go figure Green- L.A. Those where the 6 guys who had the run to the Cup. They are all big guys except for Staios and that is the only guy that is left???????? Smyth Rem Murray George Larquoe Todd Harvey Samsonov Stoll Torres Markken Conklin Still here Moureau Pisani Horcoff Hemsky.

That is a total of 14 guys (I'm missing two more forwards but can't think right now from that Great team that are no longer around.

Peca Divorak That is a total of 16 guys who made the final in 2006 that are no longer with the Oilers. Gee, that was sure smart wasn't it, take apart the winning team to what we have now. Oilers brass don't care cause it is a sell out every night.

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#30 Jonathan Willis
January 17 2009, 11:56AM
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Very good trade. Full analysis is coming, which is why I'm being so short here.

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#31 raged
January 17 2009, 11:57AM
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@ Pokie Reddik: I love the people dispensing advice out to billionaire businessman Darryl Katz. Unless Wayne Gretz is Katz, its even dumber than blaming trades on mact

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#32 Pokie Reddik
January 17 2009, 12:00PM
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raged wrote:

@ Pokie Reddik: I love the people dispensing advice out to billionaire businessman Darryl Katz. Unless Wayne Gretz is Katz, its even dumber than blaming trades on mact

Like the Satan trade? Whitney? he can't coach offence plain and simple, Lowe will do what ever he can to keep this subpar coach

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#33 Kent W
January 17 2009, 12:07PM
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If I were an NHL GM, I’d never draft a goaltender, with the exception of those franchise-level talents that typically go within the first five picks.

Well Im glad I was able to convince someone!

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#34 rindog
January 17 2009, 12:08PM
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@ Lofty:

Who do you think decided to bench our MVP from last year and go with Roli this season?

If the coach won't play a guy you've got 2 choices:

1) Fire the coach (makes me laugh just thinking that might happen).

2) Trade the player.

I wonder how may other NHL clubs have traded the away their MVP from the previous season for a couple of AHL players and 4th round draft pick??

Sounds like some good asset management to me?

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#35 Sean
January 17 2009, 12:12PM
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Willis you genius...

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#36 Mike
January 17 2009, 12:17PM
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Pokie Reddik wrote:

Like the Satan trade? Whitney? he can’t coach offence plain and simple, Lowe will do what ever he can to keep this subpar coach

That was Ron Low who was coaching Satan. Slats made the trade.

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#37 Jonathan Willis
January 17 2009, 12:18PM
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Kent W wrote:

Well Im glad I was able to convince someone!

I have to acknowledge what B.C.B said above - the occasional overage Euro picked with a late selection is a good idea too.

Other than that, it's just too risky. If you have a second, you should put up the link to your excellent article on the subject.

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#38 Mike
January 17 2009, 12:21PM
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rindog wrote:

I wonder how may other NHL clubs have traded the away their MVP from the previous season for a couple of AHL players and 4th round draft pick?? Sounds like some good asset management to me?

Goalies go on hot streaks. They then come back to earth and suck. Theodore. Khabibulin. Gerber. It's not unusual. And in this case, we didn't end up with a 5 year, $30 million dollar extension. I would say we're luckier than Washington, Chicago or Ottawa.

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#39 APE
January 17 2009, 12:21PM
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What did you guys expect to get for Garon? This is a pretty solid trade IMO. Ryan Stone has potential and is young and Sabourin has a little NHL experience and will be good for the Falcons.

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#40 APE
January 17 2009, 12:24PM
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rindog wrote:

I wonder how may other NHL clubs have traded the away their MVP

Is this what Tambellini is supposed to say to the other GM. Well, he was our MVP last year...

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#41 Jason Gregor
January 17 2009, 12:26PM
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Pokie Reddik wrote:

Like the Satan trade? Whitney? he can’t coach offence plain and simple, Lowe will do what ever he can to keep this subpar coach

He wasn't the coach when those two were here, Ron Lowe was the coach. You should get your facts straight.

Ryan Stone is on a two-way deal that pays him 60,000 in the minors and just over $500,000 if he plays here. Sabourin is in the last year of a one-way deal that pays him just over $500,000.

Sabourin has to clear waivers, while Stone doesn't. This is a trade more to help Springfield than the Oilers. It does free up a roster spot for the Oil, but I can't see them keeping Sabourin here. They have no loyalty to him, and there is no need to continue with the three-headed carousel.

Don't expect Stone to be a saviour in the faceoff dot. HE has taken a grand total of five draws, winning three of them at the NHL level.

He was a decent scorer his last year in Brandon racking up 99 points. His best stat might be his three playoff years in the AHL. He has played 44 games and tallied 11 goals and 33 points. He has some grit to his game, having 100 or more PIMs two of three years in the AHL.

The big difference between him and Reddox is that he has size and some spunk to his game standing 6'2, 205.

This trade doesn't help the Oilers on the ice at all, but it frees up a roster spot, likely keeping Brule here longer, and it will get Deslauriers some more playing time.

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#42 Pokie Reddik
January 17 2009, 12:26PM
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Tambellini is just a puppet for Lowe, no one wants to deal with Lowe, thats why he was brought in. Katz promoted Lowe so he can keep his bum buddy

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#43 B.C.B.
January 17 2009, 12:54PM
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Pokie: How about doing the analysis of the trade rather then cmplaining about management? What do you think Garon was worth on the trade market? Does that jive with what goaltenders are being traded for in the last two years? What does MacT have to do with the return for a struggling Garon (I am not addressing his possible involvement in Garon's struggles)?

If we can make Stone into a winger, then maybe he is worth something. A strong checking LW with some scoring touch sounds like a piece of the future to me. We need a strong winger since we don't have that many. How would Stone fit on the depth cart: LW RW Penner Hemsky Nilsson Cole Moreau Pisani Stortini Reddox

Other then that we have a bunch of converted centers playing wing (Poo, Brule, Potulny, Schremp, etc . . .) Stone would be an addition to this growing trend. If stone is better at draws maybe he move up the depth chart at center, or maybe we convert him to LW. I know getting (drafting) the best player available is popular in the NHL, but could Tambo get us a left winger for the future?

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#44 Didsdave
January 17 2009, 12:56PM
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Good comment Jason. Your interpretation is the only thing that makes any sense.

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#45 jono
January 17 2009, 12:56PM
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Reading oilers posts makes me want to scream. If you guys are all so smrt, how come non of you are NHL GMs? We could have traded Garon for a bag of pucks and a used hockey stick and I would have stood up and cheered to see the demise of the three headed monster and yet so many of you lament. Who did you expect to get in return? Crosby? Come on, backup goalies are a dime a dozen right now and just the fact that we didn't have to waive him is good news. This helps Springfield and Edmonton and clears cap space. Now Deslaurier can get some starts. And Garon benched? Have you seen him play recently? Last nights effort aside, I can think of 3 games he played well (his first three) and downhill quick after that. Go ahead poke, my lips are stained from the coolaid, but come on, this is good news people.

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#46 Chris
January 17 2009, 12:56PM
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A month ago many esteemed members of the nation were begging Tambellini to put one of our goalies on waivers... Instead we landed a prospect, a pick, and a depth goalie who WILL clear waivers... Why is it that many of you are saying we didn't get enough? I may be the king of negativity, but even I know this was a solid move. Garon wasn't going to sign here next year anyway.

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#47 Chris
January 17 2009, 12:57PM
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@ jono: JINX!

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#48 B.C.B.
January 17 2009, 01:04PM
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Sabourin might not clear waivers today, seeing the Islander's just lost Dubielewicz to the Blue jackets. But who could see that one coming, since Standford cleared a couple days a go. Maybe Tambo should see if Sabourin could get another 4 round pick from the Isle.

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#49 Jason Gregor
January 17 2009, 01:09PM
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I just spoke with Ryan Rishaug from TSN, and Sabourin is not coming here. They will try and trade him or put him on waivers and send him to the minors.

Interesting side note, is that the Islanders just signed Wade Dubielewicz to a one-year deal, but he had to clear waivers, since he was playing in Europe, and the Blue Jackets claimed him.

So now the Islanders are looking for a stop-gap goalie for the rest of the season, because Dipietro's knee keeps swelling up and they want him to take the rest of the year off.

Would Sabourin be of interest to Garth Snow now? Perhaps. Either way Deslauriers is now the back up.

Also on the Stone front, as Brule nears the 160 GP mark, if they don't want him to get to it, Stone is a player they could potentially shuttle back and forth in his place. Once Hemsky, Nilsson, Stortini and Pisani are back some bodies have to go and I'd suspect Brule will be one of them. Brule can only play four more games before he has to clear waivers.

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#50 Jason Gregor
January 17 2009, 01:10PM
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B.C.B. wrote:

Sabourin might not clear waivers today, seeing the Islander’s just lost Dubielewicz to the Blue jackets. But who could see that one coming, since Standford cleared a couple days a go. Maybe Tambo should see if Sabourin could get another 4 round pick from the Isle.

Typing at the same time I guess..haha... You won't get a 4th rounder for Sabourin. The best would be a 7th I would suspect, considering Labarbera got that for the Kings and he was playing more than Sabourin.

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