Most Injury-Prone Starters in the NHL

Jonathan Willis
July 24 2009 08:05PM

The Northwest Division is full of healthy goaltenders. Roberto Luongo, Niklas Backstrom and Craig Anderson have all been very durable, while Miikka Kiprusoff is the most durable goalie in the entire NHL.

The sole name from the Northwest that doesn’t show up on that list is Nikolai Khabibulin.

What follows is a list of the league’s starters, ranked by games missed since the lockout (I’ve excluded flu and personal reasons from the list since these don’t reflect physical wear-and-tear):

  • Pascal Leclaire: 120 games (back, left knee, knee, left knee, hamstring, neck, right thumb, ankle, ankle)
  • Rick DiPietro: 105 games (concussion, knee, groin, lower body, neck, headache, knee, hip, knee, knee, groin, right knee)
  • Kari Lehtonen: 84 games (groin, sprained ankle, groin, back, upper body)
  • Nikolai Khabibulin: 66 games (groin, knee, finger, knee, back, lower body, lower body, lower body)
  • Martin Brodeur: 56 games (right knee, left elbow)
  • Vesa Toskala: 48 games (groin, groin, groin, groin, groin, groin, hip, hip)
  • Cristobal Huet: 44 games (knee, hamstring, groin, back)
  • Mike Smith: 44 games (concussion, arm, knee, post-concussion)
  • Marc-Andre Fleury: 39 games (ankle, lower body)
  • Ryan Miller: 35 games (thumb, lower body, left ankle)
  • Evgeni Nabokov: 32 games (shoulder, groin, groin, abdominal, groin, lower body, lower body)
  • Jose Theodore: 30 games (knee, heel, hip, knee, back, hip)
  • Tomas Vokoun: 27 games (knee, thumb, ankle, back)
  • Roberto Luongo: 27 games (knee, rib, groin)
  • Chris Osgood: 23 games (groin, hand, finger, groin)
  • Ilya Bryzgalov: 17 games (groin, groin, back)
  • Carey Price: 12 games (lower body injury, groin)
  • Steve Mason: 9 games (knee, mononucleosis)
  • Ray Emery: 9 games (wrist, wrist)
  • Cam Ward: 7 games (knee, groin)
  • Henrik Lundqvist: 7 games (hip)
  • Tim Thomas: 6 games (lower body)
  • Marty Turco: 5 games (lower body, neck, lower body)
  • Chris Mason: 4 games (groin)
  • Niklas Backstrom: 3 games (lower body, groin)
  • Jon Quick: 0 games missed, 44 GP
  • Pekka Rinne: 0 games missed, 55 GP
  • Jonas Hiller: 0 games missed, 69 GP
  • Craig Anderson: 0 games missed, 82 GP
  • Miikka Kiprusoff: 0 games missed, 300 GP

Let’s also look at the backup options that those teams employing the five most injury-prone goaltenders:

  • Ottawa: Brian Elliott – 30GP, .902 SV% NHL/31GP, .926 SV% AHL last season
  • New York Islanders: Martin Biron/Dwayne Roloson
  • Atlanta: Ondrej Pavelec – 12GP, .880 SV% NHL/40GP, .914 SV% AHL; Johan Hedberg – 33GP, .886 SV% NHL
  • Edmonton: Jeff Deslauriers – 10GP, .901 SV% NHL/5GP, .906 SV% AHL
  • New Jersey: Yann Danis – 31GP, .910 SV% NHL/10GP, .924 SV% AHL

Three of those five teams have very decent backup options. The Islanders have a legitimate NHL tandem behind Rick DiPietro, and Martin Biron is one of the healthiest goaltenders in the league (187GP since the lockou, zero games missed). Ottawa prospect Brian Elliott has a tremendous track record in college (.938, .923 SV% in his two years as a starter), a good record in the AHL (.915, .926 SV% his last two seasons) and did a decent job (.902 SV%) last year in the NHL over an extended debut (31 games). Meanwhile, New Jersey backup Yann Danis did tremendous work backstopping the woeful Islanders last season.

Meanwhile, Atlanta has prospect Ondrej Pavelec, who has had two OK AHL seasons (.911, .914 SV% and has the virtue of youth (just 21 years old) and Johan Hedberg who has been mediocre (at best) since excelling in a post-season run in Pittsburgh. Pavelec has promise, but if Lehtonen gets hurt again Atlanta will be in trouble – which is unsurprising, given that Atlanta is always in trouble.

Meanwhile, if Khabibulin gets injured, the Edmonton Oilers have Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, a player who is not only older than Elliott (one year) or Pavelec (more than three years) but also a much less accomplished AHL goalie than either of them.

Long story short: Nikolai Khabibulin, who missed 20 games with injury last season and who has averaged 17 games a year every season since the lockout gets hurt again, the Oilers are unprepared. The Oilers have a less qualified backup than any of these other five teams with injury-prone goaltenders.

Form your own conclusions.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
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 Death Metal Nightmare
July 24 2009, 08:12PM
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theyre not prepared at forward either - even if the starters played all 82 games.

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#2 hatecrime
July 24 2009, 08:14PM
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hate to dwell on this and totally off topic but heard on local radio that the whole heatley deal was just a ploy to get intrest from the rangers.had no intrest in coming to edmonton.just another knife in the back to us fans.

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#3 jt in Oilertown
July 24 2009, 08:26PM
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~So is Khabibulin's health taking the place of the Heatley saga for overcoverage? How long til the season starts so that we can actually talk hockey?~

Seriously, JW, thanks as always for the data mining. Brodeur is a bit of an anomaly on that list, because most (if not all) was last year's injury.

As for the Oil, if history holds, they'll certainly have a good idea if JDD is ready for prime time after he plays 10-15 straight when (not if) Khabibulin gets injured.

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#4 GLoKz0r
July 24 2009, 08:27PM
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This seems redundant given that the Oil have said they're pegging him for roughly 60 games this season. They have to test Deslaurier this season, and see if he's a commodity or a liability. Unless he is an absolute train wreck, expect him to get 20 games this season.

Not exactly the ideal situation, but if Khabi goes for his usual 17, what better test could there possibly be for DD or JDD to step up. If they find a bonafide starter, they have 3 years to slowly hand him more games each season.

Albeit it's a gamble, but it's a gamble when ever you bring in a new player (or was everyone expecting Cole to have the season he did in Edmonton?). Khabibulin is the gamble with the bigger upside. The bigger upside comes with bigger risk here, so pick your poison.

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#5 Andrew W
July 24 2009, 08:51PM
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Another out of place commment, but I thought I'd share this funny little quote courtesy of the Ottawa Sun's Chris Stevenson anyway:

"Dany Heatley won't be attending the wedding of Senators linemate Jason Spezza this weekend. Just as well. Heatley would be out of place where people are making commitments."

Well played Mr. Stevenson.

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#6 oilers123
July 24 2009, 09:01PM
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Stats are old I'm looking to this year not past

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#7 ScubaSteve
July 24 2009, 09:06PM
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We get it JW, you don't like the contract for Khabi, great, you've made your point a number of times on that. And you don't like JDD as a back-up if he gets injured, fine.

It seems you've been singing that same song since July 1st. Let's see him play before we hang him, shall we?

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#8 oilman
July 24 2009, 09:06PM
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How the hell would anyone know how durable Craig Anderson is? His career high for starts in a season is 38 and that's in the NHL. There's no telling how he responds to 60 games.

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#9 ronaldo
July 24 2009, 09:12PM
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Conclusion: looks like Khabi has his IR games out of the way and is ready to play 70 per for the mighty Oil. Those "healthy" goalies have some catching up to do. (kool-aid with vodka = good way to beat heat)

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#10 oilman
July 24 2009, 09:14PM
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should say AHL, not NHL above

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#11 Archaeologuy
July 24 2009, 09:18PM
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Wow. Not even the implications of this article can kill my good mood today. It tried though.

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#12 99thoilerfan
July 24 2009, 09:22PM
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JW

Thank you for your work that goes into your work.

It must take a lot of work, to put in all that work and I have to say, it shows in your work.

I would like to say, even if I do not agree with what the numbers show, I love how it can drive the boards crazy, as we discuss your work.

Me? We will see.. Last year the team, the city, everyone thought we were for better things...

Maybe this year....right? Maybe...

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#13 ronaldo
July 24 2009, 09:35PM
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@ 99thoilerfan Alcohol + 30 Degree Heat = That Post. No disrespect, I laughed. (If posting from somewhere cooler, good cronic eh?)

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#14 Jonathan Willis
July 24 2009, 09:53PM
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oilman wrote:

How the hell would anyone know how durable Craig Anderson is? His career high for starts in a season is 38 and that’s in the NHL. There’s no telling how he responds to 60 games.

Anderson started 58 games in 2003-04.

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#15 Jonathan Willis
July 24 2009, 09:58PM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

We get it JW, you don’t like the contract for Khabi, great, you’ve made your point a number of times on that. And you don’t like JDD as a back-up if he gets injured, fine. It seems you’ve been singing that same song since July 1st. Let’s see him play before we hang him, shall we?

But I'm making it in different ways. And even people who think Khabibulin is the best possible option might have been misled by the mistaken notion that he's durable. I've heard that from two different media people and it's patently false.

And this is one of several songs I sing. I also talk about how Tambellini has been so busy chasing the big fish that he's passed on some small fish who could help - a lot.

As for Khabibulin, I expect he'll be fine this year (despite how he reacted last time he got a 4-year contract). I expect that the last two years will be bad, and I expect he'll be injured some of the time. Jeff Deslauriers, who bless his soul has been horribly mistreated as a prospect, has done nothing to instill me with confidence.

What bothers me the most is the blind optimism - "why not JDD?", "Khabibulin is a WINNER!1!1!", "a big name FINALLY!!!! signed in Edmonton!!!!!" and stupidity of that nature.

Believe me, I'd much rather be applauding Steve Tambellini's summer, but so far I simply can't.

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#16 Jonathan Willis
July 24 2009, 09:59PM
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oilers123 wrote:

Stats are old I’m looking to this year not past

So am I. Khabibulin's even older this year.

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#17 GSC
July 24 2009, 10:05PM
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My Conclusion: Tell us something that we don't know.

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#18 Garett
July 24 2009, 10:08PM
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Could Khabibulin maybe attract some Russians to come here? Like maybe this odd rumor about the possibility of Kovalchuk being dealt, could Khabi not kinda make a deal like that happen?

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#19 Garett
July 24 2009, 10:09PM
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Would be nice if Kovalchuk had more than 1 year left on his deal though

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#20 Derek
July 24 2009, 10:12PM
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Wierd, I thought the drink of choice this summer was kool-aid.

Excellent work as always Jonathan. Now lets all cross our fingers and hope that Nikolai's recent history doesn't repeat itself.

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#21 ScubaSteve
July 24 2009, 10:14PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I also talk about how Tambellini has been so busy chasing the big fish that he’s passed on some small fish who could help - a lot.

How do we know this for sure? Maybe all the little fish that have been signed weren't on our radar? Besides a 3rd line C, and maybe a 4th liner who can PK, what other small fish are we missing? And both of those holes can still be filled very nicely with what else is out there.

Jonathan Willis wrote:

And even people who think Khabibulin is the best possible option might have been misled by the mistaken notion that he’s durable.

Agreed, maybe he's not the most durable goalie, but who was a better option? Not Biron, as evidenced by him being replaced by Emery and signing for less money and well after every other FA goalie of note.

I know this might be a tough pill to swallow for some people, but stats don't tell the whole story. If they did, there's no way Biron signs for less than 4 mil/year. There's a reason that 30 GM's in the NHL didn't fall over themselves trying to get this guy.

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#22 DanMan
July 24 2009, 10:15PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

No matter what happens with Khabibulin this year, it is time for Devan Dubnyk to show what he can do in the NHL. I'm talking 6-10 games. He actually played well in Springton last year, considering how horrible the team was. If nothing more than to develop him as an asset to throw in a deal to a team looking to develop a young goalie. (Florida?) It may mean carrying 3 goalies this year for a week or two.

One thing nobody has mentioned yet: Is Khabibulin gonna be on the Russian Olympic team this year? Given these stats above, I hope not. You would think it would be Nabokov as #1 hands down, maybe Varlamov as a 2 or 3.

If injuries happen, they happen. The way we have been bit by the bug the last 3 years, one would think the hockey gods will protect the "lower body" this year.

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#23 West Coast Oil
July 24 2009, 10:17PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

JW I appreciate and love your work as it is always informative but geez it seems most of the things you post lately are just negative toward the Oilers! Suddenly the attitude has become doom and gloom and not that long ago we were rejoicing at the termination of MacT and the hiring of Quinn and Renney. Has the Dany Heatley situation really done that much damage? Thank god for Wanye and his overly enthusiastic posts because he still makes you feel good about being an Oilers fan... I recently posted on Lowetide stating why I still have optimism and as I know many of the people here follow there I am not going to repeat all of it but some key points I would like to state:

"the last couple of years we had to watch Gagner and Cogs develop after being pushed into the NHL too early (in my opinion). Penner dealt with moving to Edmonton and having the high expectations and more of a key role thrust upon him (don't forget in terms of hockey time in the NHL he is still a rookie as well). Patty O just joined the team last year after being dealt to the Oilers out of left field. We had the whole MacT situation going on where not only did he make some strange decisions on ice he alienated himself from most of the room."

These are huge obstacles so is it fair to judge so harshly so quickly?

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#24 Hemmertime
July 24 2009, 10:32PM
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@ West Coast Oil: Ya, I remember specifically reading a post stating Khabibulins good side prior to us signing him, after not so much. Gregor on his side though.

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#25 West Coast Oil
July 24 2009, 10:37PM
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@ Hemmertime: Exactly! No one was saying we shouldn't get him. It just seems now that everyone is playing the game of hindsight and assumptions all the time now and these are tough games for anyone to win.. Even during the season when we watched the Oilers suck and fall apart worse than a vacuum bought from a second hand store the attitude did not feel so negative..

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#26 hatecrime
July 24 2009, 10:39PM
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just joined the nation a little while ago so i am curious if everyone was happy or not about mac t getting punted and quinn taking over and if we think coaching will be that big a difference?

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#27 Harlie
July 24 2009, 10:44PM
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Tim Thomas#30 Height: 5-11 Weight: 201 Shoots: Left Born: Apr 15, 1974 - Flint, Michigan Draft: 1994 - 9th round (217th overall) by the Quebec NordiquesGoalies Career 9.18 GAA 5 mill a year for the next 4 years 54 games played 08-09/ 57 games played 07-08/ 66 games played 06-07 5 MILLION A YEAR NEXT 4 YEARS

Nikolai Khabibulin#35 Height: 6-1 Weight: 208 Shoots: Left Born: Jan 13, 1973 - Sverdlovsk, USSR Draft: 1992 - 9th round (204th overall) by the Winnipeg Jets Career 9.08 GAA (9.31 vs the Flames) 3.75 mill a year for the next 4 years 42 games played 08-09/ 50 games played 07-08/ 60 games played 06-07 3.75 MILLION A YEAR NEXT 4 YEARS

Bulin has a Stanley along with 2 Golds and a Bronze in international play. He's got Cowtown's number. His salary is 25% cheaper than Tim Thomas' and he is only 15 months older than Timmy and they are signed to the same length of term. Not that Timmy is the best goalie in the league but the way the MSM drooled all over him in the playoffs I thought I would throw the comparison out there.

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#28 Jonathan Willis
July 24 2009, 10:55PM
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Well you guys aren't remembering what I said very well if you think that a) I wanted Khabibulin or b) I rejoiced when Quinn signed on.

Khabibulin was one (legitimate) option, and I'd be fine with him if a) the contract wasn't so stupid and b) the backup situation looked better. I still don't have an issue with Khabibulin himself (although of course I prefer Biron), just those two points.

As for Quinn, I'm cautiously optimistic, but I don't think MacTavish was THE problem last season; he wasn't helping things, but the biggest problem has to do with the way this roster has been constructed - and aside from hoping the kids step forward I see no reason to believe this will be a better team than last season.

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#29 DanMan
July 24 2009, 10:56PM
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@ hatecrime:

There are some MacTavishists still around. They're quiet and subtle these days, but they are here.

I can't speak for everyone, but I have one word to say about firing MacT....

HE'S GONE, HE'S GONE, HALLALEUJAH HE'S GONE!!

The fact that we signed not only the best, but the best TWO coaches available is absolutely stunning. I have been having chugging contests with the Oiler-Aid since April.

TESTIFY!!!!

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#30 Jonathan Willis
July 24 2009, 11:03PM
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West Coast Oil wrote:

Exactly! No one was saying we shouldn’t get him. It just seems now that everyone is playing the game of hindsight and assumptions all the time now and these are tough games for anyone to win..

July 2nd: This wasn’t the best possible choice, and the term is a little frightening. All of that said, this isn’t an albatross contract either, and the goaltending should be adequate for the next few years.

June 18: Needless to say, I don’t especially like it. Let’s assume that Roloson’s raise is a marginal one, and that he signs a 1yr/3.75MM contract. That means that the difference in price between him and Biron is 750K. Is the difference between the two goaltenders worth less than 750K? I’m not sure I like that gamble.

Biron’s eight years younger, and in his prime; Roloson, in contrast, is right near the end of his career. Biron has also posted better numbers in each of the last two seasons.

And what I said about Khabibulin back in May:

Nikolai Khabibulin had a remarkable season after some very poor years post-lockout. His .919 SV% is his best (by a lot) since 2000-01, and he hasn’t maintained it through 15 playoff games (.898 SV%). His numbers since the lockout are .909, .902, and .886, and I tend to think he’ll drop back around the .910 range going forward (which was what he did in Tampa Bay). He has the ability to get hot and has won a Stanley Cup, but after what happened in Chicago (the Blackhawks even acquired Cristobal Huet over the summer because they had no confidence in Khabibulin) I’d be very leery about signing him to the kind of contract he’s likely to get.

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#31 Jonathan Willis
July 24 2009, 11:06PM
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DanMan wrote:

HE’S GONE, HE’S GONE, HALLALEUJAH HE’S GONE!!

So: Did MacT fluke out in 2006, or did he lose his ability to coach?

Familiarity breeds contempt, and that's what happened here. Plus the coach is an easy scapegoat, and while some of it was deserved it was the general managing tandem of Lowe/Tambellini who decided to gut the team of useful veterans without replacing them; despite cheap replacements being on the market.

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#32 DanMan
July 24 2009, 11:25PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

2006 is one big circular argument waiting to happen, so I don't want to get into it too much.

But mistakes were made during the run, too. Laraque not playing on the PP when we had absolutely NOTHING happening during the final. Roli getting hurt was such bad luck, but given the way we dominated Anaheim, giving conks or markkanen a game wouldn't have hurt. I hate the "one-goalie" system in playoff hockey, just as I hate the "one-quarterback" system in football. Injuries happen, and when they do I don't want the backup to be 3 months cold.

I'll give a list of players who were misused, mishandled, or, in the worst case, destroyed in terms of asset value after 2006:

Lupul T. Petersen Sykora Horcoff Roloson Deslauries Penner Reddox Pisani Gagner/Nilsson/Cogliano (1st 3/4 of 07-08) Brule Schremp

Those are just the ones I can think of off-hand. We gotta remember, MacT was severely unqualified when he was hired, he had been an assistant for ONE year!

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#33 Ogden Brother
July 24 2009, 11:29PM
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DanMan wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: 2006 is one big circular argument waiting to happen, so I don’t want to get into it too much. But mistakes were made during the run, too. Laraque not playing on the PP when we had absolutely NOTHING happening during the final. Roli getting hurt was such bad luck, but given the way we dominated Anaheim, giving conks or markkanen a game wouldn’t have hurt. I hate the “one-goalie” system in playoff hockey, just as I hate the “one-quarterback” system in football. Injuries happen, and when they do I don’t want the backup to be 3 months cold. I’ll give a list of players who were misused, mishandled, or, in the worst case, destroyed in terms of asset value after 2006: Lupul T. Petersen Sykora Horcoff Roloson Deslauries Penner Reddox Pisani Gagner/Nilsson/Cogliano (1st 3/4 of 07-08) Brule Schremp Those are just the ones I can think of off-hand. We gotta remember, MacT was severely unqualified when he was hired, he had been an assistant for ONE year!

Wow, from your list it's clear you are beyond delusional.

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#34 Ogden Brother
July 24 2009, 11:30PM
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Here's an easy prediction. Before 2013, Oiler fans will whine more about the Bulin contract then anything else.

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#35 Ogden Brother
July 24 2009, 11:31PM
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DanMan wrote:

@ hatecrime: There are some MacTavishists still around. They’re quiet and subtle these days, but they are here. I can’t speak for everyone, but I have one word to say about firing MacT…. HE’S GONE, HE’S GONE, HALLALEUJAH HE’S GONE!! The fact that we signed not only the best, but the best TWO coaches available is absolutely stunning. I have been having chugging contests with the Oiler-Aid since April. TESTIFY!!!!

Funny part is that Renny is a MacT clone and NYR fans have all the same complaints about him that Oiler fans had about MacT.

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#36 jt in Oilertown
July 24 2009, 11:35PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Here’s an easy prediction. Before 2013, Oiler fans will whine more about the Bulin contract then anything else.

~Not as long as #10 is still here.~

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#37 DanMan
July 24 2009, 11:36PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

Gregor had an interview with Renney before he was hired. It was pretty in depth. Its probably on the 1260 website archived.

In it, Gregor asked him what his policy was on calling guys out through the media.

Renney flat out said that is something he would NEVER do. And it never should be done.

And a minor leaguer? Who does that? What organization has ever done that?

Not to mention Renney doesn't have the milquetoast demeanor, and the psuedo-intellectual hockey-talk like "optics" and "compete level"

When I think "compete level", I think "minor penalties".

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#38 DanMan
July 24 2009, 11:40PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

And the PowerPlay

That man should never be allowed near a PP, he is TOXIC.

I actually didn't mind his systems that much 5v5, IMO a more agressive forecheck would be nice but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.

When a member of the MSM asked Horc this year just what exactly they were doing with the 2 guys side-by-side of the half-boards, Horc said "Well, you know, MacT draws up the plays, and we just have to execute.

MacT DRAWS UP THE PLAYS!

*DanMan once again rocks back and forth in the fetal position with drool hanging off his chin*

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#39 Robin Brownlee
July 24 2009, 11:47PM
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Long story short: Nikolai Khabibulin, who missed 20 games with injury last season and who has averaged 17 games a year every season

I get it you're not sold on Khabibulin's durability, but why round up to an average of 17 games a season instead of down when 16 is just as close as the actual number, which is 16.5?

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#40 Dallas
July 25 2009, 12:07AM
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@ DanMan: Aye aye!!!!!! sorry Jonathon

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#41 Dallas
July 25 2009, 12:16AM
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You have to admit that was one helluva save if khabby can pull off a ton of those the next 4 years Calgary will be crying

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#42 DanMan
July 25 2009, 12:25AM
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@ Dallas:

I wonder if Tambellini had checked his stats against Calgary haha

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#43 Jonathan Willis
July 25 2009, 12:48AM
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@ DanMan:

I wonder if Tambellini had checked his stats againt Vancouver haha

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#44 Jonathan Willis
July 25 2009, 12:49AM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

Sorry, I always round up on .5. It's an ingrained habit, but I should have included the number to one further decimal rather than rounding.

Sorry.

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#45 Jonathan Willis
July 25 2009, 12:51AM
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DanMan wrote:

We gotta remember, MacT was severely unqualified when he was hired, he had been an assistant for ONE year!

That's pretty much the one thing I can agree on. MacT's first few years (IIRC) were a pretty steep learning curve, but he's been a pretty good coach most of the way since (in my opinion - you won't change my mind and I'm not trying to change yours), with the exception of this year.

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#46 PaperDesigner
July 25 2009, 01:03AM
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I'm not sure how paying under four million for a proven, legitimate number one goaltender is a "ridiculous" contract in this league. I'm not even concerned about the fact that this contract takes him to forty; I think conditioning in this league has improved to the point where forty is the new thirty six.

The thing about the other goaltending options is that none of them were all that good. Roloson at his number was the only other option I liked, but that's a shorter term solution. Is Anderson really going to carry the load? Isn't Biron just another in a long line of Philly goalies who just isn't that good? Why should anyone believe in Clemenson long-term? What has he done to merit starting?

Security is worth paying for, and Khabibulin provides some of that. You KNOW with him that he's capable of being the guy, something that not even Roloson gives you. And for what his high end game is, four million is a reasonable shave off of what his salary would be if he was 32 instead of 36. In a world where Giguere gets six million, Thomas gets five, Miller gets six and a quarter, Kiprusoff is just under six, Huet makes five and a half, Turco makes five point seven as does Vokoun, Backstrom makes six, Brodeur makes a little over five, DiPietro makes four and a half, Lundquist makes six and a half, Leclaire makes three point eight, Bryzgalov makes four and a quarter, Fleury makes five, Nabokov makes about five and a third, Toskala makes four, Luongo makes six and three quarters and Theodore makes four and a half.

If you want to count, that puts Khabibulin seventeenth on the money list in the NHL. If you want to argue that his contract is ridiculous, you will have to start by proving claiming that he is not a top fifteen goaltender in this league. I think he is, because I think last year is a better indicator or what he is capable of as a netminder than some of the earlier years in his contract.

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#47 DanMan
July 25 2009, 01:22AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

Like I said J-Wil, I thought he was a good coach 5v5, but the PP, personnel decisions, and calling guys out in the media are what I disagreed with.

I don't know Pat Quinn's coaching can get us in the playoffs. I'm pretty excited about it, though

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#48 Ogden Brother
July 25 2009, 01:52AM
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DanMan wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: Gregor had an interview with Renney before he was hired. It was pretty in depth. Its probably on the 1260 website archived. In it, Gregor asked him what his policy was on calling guys out through the media. Renney flat out said that is something he would NEVER do. And it never should be done. And a minor leaguer? Who does that? What organization has ever done that? Not to mention Renney doesn’t have the milquetoast demeanor, and the psuedo-intellectual hockey-talk like “optics” and “compete level” When I think “compete level”, I think “minor penalties”.

Minor leaguer? i'm assuming you are talking about Redox? Ask Bsbcock who he had on the 1st line a couple of games in the SCF??? Might show you that it's acutally you that has no idea what he's talking about.

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#49 Chris
July 25 2009, 02:20AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

I'm afraid I just disagree with you. Khabibulin (at his best) is just better than Biron. Four years from now we may look back on this and say: a) Biron would have been available to play more games. b) Biron would have posted a higher overall save percentage. c) Biron cost less...

But I seriously doubt we will mind all that if Khabibulin gets hot at the right time and takes the Oilers deep into the playoffs (at least once). A really good team might choose to go with Biron as a safe choice, Khabibulin, on the other hand is a bit of a gamble. I know I said you shouldn't gamble on goaltending. Let me clarify: I ment, you shouldn't risk missing out on the goaltender you target by playing chicken with the agent. If the term and money fits in with your plan: pull the trigger with no regrets. Only time will tell if Tambellini targeted the correct man.

Personally, I like Khabibulin at 3.75... Now PLEASE SIGN A REAL BACKUP! Age, injuries, and dilligence considered: the Bulin Wall needs support.

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#50 HAZER
July 25 2009, 02:43AM
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Love the Khabibulin signing! why even question it? He is a proven winner, and is the help that our underachieving defence definately need. And lets face it, the last legit goalie this team had in his prime would probally have to be Curtis Joseph.. This was needed and will fit perfectly with the development of JDD, who i think will turn out pretty well in the future.. (no hall of famer, but could be a solid asset for the oilers whether it be a back up role, or a starting.)

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