The Free Agent Goalie List

Jonathan Willis
October 17 2013 08:33AM

If the Oilers decide to acquire a new goaltender, the best route at the moment is probably free agency. Yes, the talent’s been picked over, but the acquisition cost is a willingness to put Jason LaBarbera on waivers, rather than something ludicrous. What’s out there?

The List

  • Ilya Bryzgalov. The best option out there. Bryzgalov was bought out by Philadelphia after imploding with the Flyers, but in three of the four seasons prior to that disaster he posted a 0.920 save percentage or better. Of course, a high-pressure situation under heavy media scrutiny in a city where it sometimes gets as cold as minus-32 might not be the ideal fit for him. Could you imagine?
  • Jose Theodore. This is another possibility. Let’s start with the bad: Theodore’s coming off a rough year with the Panthers where he missed 27 games to a groin injury and had a 0.893 save percentage in the 15 contests he did play. The good: in three seasons leading up to 2012-13, spent with three different teams, Theodore played 30+ games every year and posted 0.911, 0.916 and 0.917 save percentages.
  • Rick DiPietro. Seriously, people need to stop talking about this guy. In DiPietro’s last full season (2007-08) he had a 0.902 save percentage, which is terrible. In the five seasons since, split between the NHL and AHL, DiPietro has played all of 67 games and managed a 0.887 save percentage. He’s always hurt and in those brief windows where he isn’t he plays very poorly. Realistically, at this point it’s fair to ask if he would even be a capable starter at the AHL level.

The Problem(s)

Edmonton currently sits at 49 NHL contracts, thanks to a busy off-season of acquisition, a quick preseason waivers binge, and the refusal of other NHL teams to claim any of the guys the Oilers placed on the waiver wire. So adding a player like Bryzgalov puts the Oilers in a tough spot, flexibility-wise. Maybe there’s a situation elsewhere (Winnipeg is at only 42 NHL contracts right now) where the Oilers could do something like trade Tyler Bunz and a sixth round pick for a seventh round pick.

Making such a move also almost certainly requires putting Jason LaBarbera on waivers (he’d likely clear) and shipping him to the minors. The Barons already have a pretty good starter in Richard Bachman, and while Olivier Roy’s development clearly isn’t an organizational priority that’s less than ideal. It would also leave $75,000 of LaBarbera’s contract counting against the Oilers’ cap, as his $1.0 million salary exceeds the $925,000 maximum deduction for buried NHL’ers.

Finally, even adding the best of the free agents above (in my opinion Bryzgalov) may not solve anything. Not only has Bryzgalov been prone to meltdowns, but LaBarbera has posted a better save percentage than the ex-Flyer in three of the last four seasons. Bryzgalov’s career save percentage is higher, and he’s played more games, but it’s close enough that he might not be an upgrade.

There’s also this:

What to do?

Wait and see. The Oilers play the Islanders tonight; presumably Devan Dubnyk will get the start but we’ll see. If Dubnyk bounces back with a strong game, the Oilers can afford to hold off on a decision. If Dubnyk gets lit up again, it might be time to see if Bryzgalov can be talked down to $1.5 million – both because Edmonton can’t afford to keep losing games and because Bryzgalov is the one guy still out there who might legitimately be a better goalie than either of the guys the Oilers have right now.

And who knows, Bryzgalov just might take it. After all, Theodore is still out there, there aren't many NHL jobs available and there might be added motivation in an Olympic year.

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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 Hemmercules
October 17 2013, 08:42AM
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If Duby can't play decent over the next two games they better be making that call to Brys. You have to worry about the guy though, he's a bit of a head case and god knows the Oil can't afford anything that might bring them down any further right now. If they do land Brysgalov they better put something in his contract where he can only give one word answers in media scrums lol. My guess is Mact is probably too worried about Brysgalovs attitude and makes a push for a trade involving another teams backup.

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#2 StHenriOilBomb
October 17 2013, 08:50AM
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I have a sinking feeling that there's not much change coming from outside the organization, and that the only real hope is for one of the current 2 tenders to reclaim his game.

on a brighter note, remember the last time the team needed a goalie to be competitive? Roli worked out pretty well, I'd say...

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#3 Gordie Wayne
October 17 2013, 08:53AM
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I posted this before, but how about we trade some defence prospects and/or draft picks for a legitimate goalie prospect.

At worst: We get a top goaltender for our AHL team and improve our organizational goalie depth.

At best: We get an immediate replacement for Dubnyk if all goes right.

Here are 3 top prospects that I would be aggressively targetting if I were MacT:

Robin Lehner (Senators - .938 in 31 GP in AHL last year) - 6'4 213 lbs. Age: 22

Frederik Andersen (Anaheim - .929 SP in 47 GP in AHL last year) - 6'4 230 lbs - Age: 24

Niklas Svedberg (Bruins - .925 SP in 48 GP in AHL last year) - 6'1 176 lbs. Age: 24

Lehner is likely untouchable (although for the right price, you never know), but the other 2 goalies should be trade-able as Anaheim and Boston have tremendous goalie depth in their system, and I am sure there are more options like this out there.

Sather was always able to find these up and coming goalies (Ranford, Cujo and Salo come to mind). Is it possible that MacT can channel his inner Sather?

Also, if you look down Highway 2, I seem to remember that team getting a goalie named Kiprusoff for a bag of pucks...

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#4 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 17 2013, 08:55AM
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Ludicrous is right!

The nonsense coming out of BUF right now is insane. I realize all home team fans and media blue sky trade scenarios and have strong biases for/against various players... but wow pack it in guys, you're way off!

The best bet is simply to wait it out and rotate the 3 Gs we have until someone figures it out, or the market opens up closer to the deadline.

If all 3 somehow manage to defy odds and post all-world terrible goaltending in the continued short-term... then I'd look at free agency first, or a trade involving movable parts. There is no reason to trade the core young forwards. None.

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#5 Devolution
October 17 2013, 09:11AM
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Stay the course, just stay the course.

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#6 BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull
October 17 2013, 09:14AM
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All summer and spring I kept saying that our goaltending was weak and "boom" MacT looks like an idiot. This could be our worst year ever if the bleeding doesn't stop. I hope I'm not the only one that thinks Dallas Eakins is megalomaniac that has the personality of a Junior High School volleyball coach. I'm still pissed that he sat out Yak for the second game and I watch the Acton - Brown - Gaz line play 5 minutes and we lose the game? Put your players in a position to succeed and don't punish guys if the don't want to ride the stationary bike for 1 hour after the game.

There are many positives that have come this season and if the goalies were just ordinary we should be 3-3-1?

The knee jerk reactions have to stop! Signing Big Mac was stupid. Signing Jonesy to 1.5 mil stupid. Bringing back Grebs stupid. Not getting a number 1 goalie after Dubnyk was well aware that the team was looking for an upgrade during the free agent period and at the draft. you guessed it, Stupid

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#7 Reality Check to the head
October 17 2013, 09:17AM
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My understanding is that Bryzgalov is a little bit of a wingnut. He has also been let go from Las Vegas minor league team. Best available option, is not always the smart one.

Patience Oiler faithful. Lets hope, pray, and/or wish hard that Dubes finds his stride and goes on a tear.

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#8 vetinari
October 17 2013, 09:20AM
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Can't see a move by the Oilers until they come back from the road trip. Playing badly on the road is tough but playing badly in front of your home town fans will quickly escalate the problem from bad to nuclear. There's still a few games left on the road for the goalies to redeem themselves and I can't see the team not giving the goalies this chance to sort themselves out before bringing someone new in.

If we do get to the point where we have to add a goalie, Bryzgalov would likely be the best of the UFA's but I still think that some other goalies on other teams would be better long term solutions, provided we don't have to give up one of the young guns.

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#9 Hemmercules
October 17 2013, 09:21AM
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BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull wrote:

All summer and spring I kept saying that our goaltending was weak and "boom" MacT looks like an idiot. This could be our worst year ever if the bleeding doesn't stop. I hope I'm not the only one that thinks Dallas Eakins is megalomaniac that has the personality of a Junior High School volleyball coach. I'm still pissed that he sat out Yak for the second game and I watch the Acton - Brown - Gaz line play 5 minutes and we lose the game? Put your players in a position to succeed and don't punish guys if the don't want to ride the stationary bike for 1 hour after the game.

There are many positives that have come this season and if the goalies were just ordinary we should be 3-3-1?

The knee jerk reactions have to stop! Signing Big Mac was stupid. Signing Jonesy to 1.5 mil stupid. Bringing back Grebs stupid. Not getting a number 1 goalie after Dubnyk was well aware that the team was looking for an upgrade during the free agent period and at the draft. you guessed it, Stupid

Haha, and where do you propose they just snag up a starting goalie at will?? You make it sound so easy, I mean why didn't they just call up the best goalies in the league and demand they play in Edmonton this year!

Duby is a professional, the fact that Mact was looking for another goalie this summer should only push him harder to be better. Starting goalie jobs are few and far between, he had his handed to him so its up to him to produce.

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#10 Geoff
October 17 2013, 09:23AM
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This season is reminding me of the 05/06 Oilers minus Pronger. The team played well but the 2 goalies that were expected to start failed miserably.

So standings wise we weren't perceived as a good team. We were just a scoring dude and a goalie away from a playoff run. Now we are probably a goalie, top shutdown D and a big scoring forward away from a playoff birth.

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#11 oilerjed
October 17 2013, 09:25AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Ludicrous is right!

The nonsense coming out of BUF right now is insane. I realize all home team fans and media blue sky trade scenarios and have strong biases for/against various players... but wow pack it in guys, you're way off!

The best bet is simply to wait it out and rotate the 3 Gs we have until someone figures it out, or the market opens up closer to the deadline.

If all 3 somehow manage to defy odds and post all-world terrible goaltending in the continued short-term... then I'd look at free agency first, or a trade involving movable parts. There is no reason to trade the core young forwards. None.

Id agree with not trading any of our youth but something has to be done to start getting some wins. For a team that retooled their entire locker room in order to break the "culture of losing" its gotta be a priority to end the losing, right. MacT sitting pat until we are out of it in December or waiting for the trade deadline is crazy talk. The Oil need to start winning now and management needs to reassure them that they are different (in theory at least) the their predecessors. Im a diehard fan and have watched almost every oiler game since the mid 90s and I found myself wondering if Ill bother watching the last two games. Multiply that by the thousands and you have the oilers hockey market.

Panic move no. But make a move to get this team going the other way. Maybe then there may be enough energy at Rexall to get more then a halfassed "Lets go Oilers" chant going. That energy alone might be enough to get the OIl in gear.

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#12 OilDieHard
October 17 2013, 09:29AM
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Breezy would be an improvement over Labarbera and might be the type of goalie, one who's been a starter before, that can push Dubnyk.

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#13 china town man
October 17 2013, 09:30AM
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Here is one option that might Help our oilers goaltending, Tell kipper former flames to Come out of retirement play for The oilers and to stick it to Flames right where it hurts Because they didnt want you anymore.

And please kerry diotte do Edmonton a favor dont run for Mayor our city is heading in the Right direction!!!

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#14 David S
October 17 2013, 09:30AM
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Funny. Not too long ago good goalies were coming up to your door every Sunday morning to tell you about the lord's gift or sell you Girl Guide Cookies (which are g*d damn delicious BTW). Now they're rare as hen's teeth.

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#16 oilers2k10
October 17 2013, 09:31AM
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Jose Theodore is my choice, could likely sign him for around a million, and he's proven the most in the past. Him and Dubnyk would be a good 1B-2A.

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#17 Quicksilver ballet
October 17 2013, 09:32AM
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Maybe it's time to just start calling a spade, a spade. MacTavish already has. He's been trying to upgrade the goaltending for well over a year now.

I see Dubey along the same lines as Ryan Whitney. He was saddled with a significant contract. 20% raises on every new deal, and when the shackles of that CBA are no longer applicable. He's getting what he's worth now. 5.5 the Oilers paid last season. His UFA contract is only paying him 900.000. Probably a lot closer to his true value.

Waive Dubnyk, and put that money into another option. If they keep playing patty cake with him, he's probably going to be making close to 5 mill per without having even proven himself to be a starter. Send a little adversity his direction and see how he reacts in OKC the rest of the season. If he doesn't clean house down there, then some team will have a new 650.000 back up next season. Stop toying with the kids. Each bad goal their competitive spirit dies a little.

Get Theodore in here.

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#18 BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull
October 17 2013, 09:34AM
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Hemmercules wrote:

Haha, and where do you propose they just snag up a starting goalie at will?? You make it sound so easy, I mean why didn't they just call up the best goalies in the league and demand they play in Edmonton this year!

Duby is a professional, the fact that Mact was looking for another goalie this summer should only push him harder to be better. Starting goalie jobs are few and far between, he had his handed to him so its up to him to produce.

The team was in a better bargaining place during the summer with many teams more than willing the talk about our young talent. Now that the whole NHL knows we're looking for a goalie the price has gone through the roof. I agree that Duby is a professional but the team is starting to feel they have to score 5 to win every night. When the season started I wrote on this blog that Duby had to steal a couple during the first big road trip of the year and we've watched a career back up start back to back? If he's the solution put him in there. Hey dude just a little frustrated

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#19 Darrell
October 17 2013, 09:34AM
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BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull wrote:

All summer and spring I kept saying that our goaltending was weak and "boom" MacT looks like an idiot. This could be our worst year ever if the bleeding doesn't stop. I hope I'm not the only one that thinks Dallas Eakins is megalomaniac that has the personality of a Junior High School volleyball coach. I'm still pissed that he sat out Yak for the second game and I watch the Acton - Brown - Gaz line play 5 minutes and we lose the game? Put your players in a position to succeed and don't punish guys if the don't want to ride the stationary bike for 1 hour after the game.

There are many positives that have come this season and if the goalies were just ordinary we should be 3-3-1?

The knee jerk reactions have to stop! Signing Big Mac was stupid. Signing Jonesy to 1.5 mil stupid. Bringing back Grebs stupid. Not getting a number 1 goalie after Dubnyk was well aware that the team was looking for an upgrade during the free agent period and at the draft. you guessed it, Stupid

Ok - so after all the stupid things they tried - do we let the season tank without still trying? The difference this season is that we are trying as Belov and a heathy, Jonssuu are perfect examples. The ultimate problem is that Oilersnation (including me) will piss and moan no matter what so let all take a deep breath and start drink an hour before the game tonight - cheers and GO OILERS!

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#20 Bishai in the Benches
October 17 2013, 09:36AM
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According to Bryzgalov's agent via Pierre LeBrun, he has already turned down an NHL offer. Based on the climate, media environment, and travel, I wouldnt be surprised at all if the team he declined was the Oilers. MacT was reported to be making calls about goaltending already and I would assume that Bryz would be one of the first calls he'd make, because he wouldnt need to give up any assets. I just dont see edmonton being a great fit for him, but I guess time will tell as both parties become more desperate.

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#21 Andymoog
October 17 2013, 09:36AM
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His agent, Rich Winter said they Bryzgalov recently turned down an NHL offer. I bet that offer was from the Oilers.

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#22 Bryan in SK
October 17 2013, 09:39AM
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I don't think I'd sign Bryz. There are bears in northern Alberta, and that would just scare him.

DiPietro? I think not!

Theodore? Meh.

If LaBarbera were an available free agent, he'd be the best option, and since he's already with us, I think we should just stand pat for now.

Better the devil you know? Especially since it's probably going to get better.

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#23 oilerjed
October 17 2013, 09:42AM
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BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull wrote:

The team was in a better bargaining place during the summer with many teams more than willing the talk about our young talent. Now that the whole NHL knows we're looking for a goalie the price has gone through the roof. I agree that Duby is a professional but the team is starting to feel they have to score 5 to win every night. When the season started I wrote on this blog that Duby had to steal a couple during the first big road trip of the year and we've watched a career back up start back to back? If he's the solution put him in there. Hey dude just a little frustrated

Im not sure I buy the argument that prices go up because everyone knows we need a goalie. The other GMs have scouts and already have a pretty good idea about what other teams need. I can see it if the team is in your division, then the price has to go up so as to hedge your bets. Every GM in the league is going to need to address at least one need every season and turn about is fair play.

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#24 Hemmercules
October 17 2013, 09:43AM
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BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull wrote:

The team was in a better bargaining place during the summer with many teams more than willing the talk about our young talent. Now that the whole NHL knows we're looking for a goalie the price has gone through the roof. I agree that Duby is a professional but the team is starting to feel they have to score 5 to win every night. When the season started I wrote on this blog that Duby had to steal a couple during the first big road trip of the year and we've watched a career back up start back to back? If he's the solution put him in there. Hey dude just a little frustrated

I'm pretty sure it was obvious to every GM in the NHL this summer that the Oilers goaltending is a bit weak. Mact was never in a position of power to land a goaltender for peanuts. When teams know you are desperate the asking price goes up. I'm sure Schneider and Bernier weren't the only guys he went after, those are just the two we heard about. My guess is Mact exhausted every option and concluded that trying Duby out was better than selling off a great player for a goalie that may not be an upgrade. That obviously blew up in his face so far but thats the chance he took.

I agree though, that was kind of weird to see Labarb play back to back games. If Duby is your guy at least let him play one game in a back to back set.

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#25 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 17 2013, 09:52AM
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#26 Rama Lama
October 17 2013, 09:54AM
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I'm no expert in goaltending but even for a hack like me I can see what Dubby is doing wrong.

He so far back in his net he might as well crawl in a fetal position and try to read a book. The other thing he does is drop to his knees even before the shot is taken. I'm shocked that Chabot has not been able to change this........exactly when did taking away the bottom of the net as a sole strategy become acceptable?

Every goalie is taught in minor hockey to stand square, challenge the shooter, and play the angles. Too bad Dubby forgot this.

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#27 Hemmercules
October 17 2013, 10:01AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

I'm no expert in goaltending but even for a hack like me I can see what Dubby is doing wrong.

He so far back in his net he might as well crawl in a fetal position and try to read a book. The other thing he does is drop to his knees even before the shot is taken. I'm shocked that Chabot has not been able to change this........exactly when did taking away the bottom of the net as a sole strategy become acceptable?

Every goalie is taught in minor hockey to stand square, challenge the shooter, and play the angles. Too bad Dubby forgot this.

Not a lot of goalies play a stand up style anymore. Its easier to kick a leg out or slide across the crease when you are on your knees. A couple of soft goals Duby let in this year went right under his pad or squeaked in the 5 hole, if hes on his knees in those situations the puck doesn't go in. His reaction time is just too slow right now. Guys are scoring wrap arounds and squeaking pucks in the nearside post between his body and the post. You have to save those. He does crouch pretty low when he is down too, his glove needs to be faster if that's how he wants to play.

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#28 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 17 2013, 10:11AM
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oilerjed wrote:

Id agree with not trading any of our youth but something has to be done to start getting some wins. For a team that retooled their entire locker room in order to break the "culture of losing" its gotta be a priority to end the losing, right. MacT sitting pat until we are out of it in December or waiting for the trade deadline is crazy talk. The Oil need to start winning now and management needs to reassure them that they are different (in theory at least) the their predecessors. Im a diehard fan and have watched almost every oiler game since the mid 90s and I found myself wondering if Ill bother watching the last two games. Multiply that by the thousands and you have the oilers hockey market.

Panic move no. But make a move to get this team going the other way. Maybe then there may be enough energy at Rexall to get more then a halfassed "Lets go Oilers" chant going. That energy alone might be enough to get the OIl in gear.

Well, first you need to separate the issues.

1. Goalie issue. You don't trade a star forward for a goalie. Esp. a middling goalie who's a UFA making a ton of cash. crazy talk all-round.

2. You don't trade young stars in a panic. You don't trade them to battle sudden, unexpected change in historical play (i.e., the drop in sv%). You do trade them for equivalent value, i.e., a top 2 or 3 overall pick or a young stud D on a long term contract.

Any other conversation is ridiculous.

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#29 Lochenzo
October 17 2013, 10:13AM
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My understanding is that Dubnyk and Khabibulin had an excellent rapport. I was less anxious than most to see Khabibulin leave because I was unsure how much Dubnyk leaned on Khabibulin as a mentor/battery mate, etc. Maybe the solution is not to grab the best goalie statistically, but to have a pair of goalies that results in the highest sum of its parts. So even if Khabibulin's statistics were not great, the net result was pretty decent goaltending by the Dubnyk/Khabibulin tandem last year.

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#30 oilerjed
October 17 2013, 10:17AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Well, first you need to separate the issues.

1. Goalie issue. You don't trade a star forward for a goalie. Esp. a middling goalie who's a UFA making a ton of cash. crazy talk all-round.

2. You don't trade young stars in a panic. You don't trade them to battle sudden, unexpected change in historical play (i.e., the drop in sv%). You do trade them for equivalent value, i.e., a top 2 or 3 overall pick or a young stud D on a long term contract.

Any other conversation is ridiculous.

I think we are agreeing on the young stars, no need to get rid of the offence we have been looking for years. It diesnt only have to be the young guns that get traded, we do have quite a few prospects that there will be no room for. Also with Acrobello playing so well I wonder if he gets some attention after Gags gets back. Could be a nice addition to another team, although he does offer some surprising depth at the center position.

Are you suggesting that they dont do anything then, play the waiting game? If so are you ready to write off another year. Im glad I cant afford to have season tickets.

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#31 DSF
October 17 2013, 10:27AM
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Nick Kypreos ‏@RealKyper 17m

Note with trade talk, #Sabres Ryan Miller does have a limited no trade clause and #Oilers are one of the teams on his no trade list.

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#32 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 17 2013, 10:32AM
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DSF wrote:

Nick Kypreos ‏@RealKyper 17m

Note with trade talk, #Sabres Ryan Miller does have a limited no trade clause and #Oilers are one of the teams on his no trade list.

Thanks for the post.

I wonder if this will put the kibosh on the media conflagration or not... my guess is not. Gotta print something!

Does he have access to the whole list? I wonder if only the Oil were leaked?

Interesting that he was the source of this EDM-BUF talk:

http://www.buffalonews.com/columns/bucky-gleason/word-is-getting-around-on-darcy-sabres-making-deal-20131016

Maybe he jumped the gun.

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#33 Quintana
October 17 2013, 10:35AM
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DSF wrote:

Nick Kypreos ‏@RealKyper 17m

Note with trade talk, #Sabres Ryan Miller does have a limited no trade clause and #Oilers are one of the teams on his no trade list.

Good news. We don't want that cancer in our dressing room.

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#34 Alex Mathis
October 17 2013, 10:37AM
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Jonathan, what about calling up Richard Bachmann for a couple of games and riding three goalies for a certain amount of time?

a) Richard Bachmann is currently playing well in Oklahoma and would deserve a chance in Edmonton and...

b) it would take some pressure from Dubnyk and LaBarbara AND force the competition between them and...

c) it would be a temporary measure without any risk and in case of failing, the trade/FA-scenario could brought back.

Any thoughts?

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#35 Quicksilver ballet
October 17 2013, 10:39AM
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DSF wrote:

Nick Kypreos ‏@RealKyper 17m

Note with trade talk, #Sabres Ryan Miller does have a limited no trade clause and #Oilers are one of the teams on his no trade list.

Ouch!

Ride the season out and win the lotto. Still our best option under 6 rings Lowe. For those who'll choose to remain Oilers, the future still looks to be 2 or 3 seasons away.

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#36 Jason Gregor
October 17 2013, 10:45AM
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JW,

I wouldn't put too much into the -32 comments. Bryz is a huge family guy and his son loves playing hockey, and his daughter figure skates. Lots of options for both of them if they came to Edmonton. I think it is a longshot, but for family reasons Edmonton fits.

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#37 BIGDAWG
October 17 2013, 10:53AM
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I am fine with standing pat right now.. Having said that, Mac T did have 2 chances to get a goalie.. How he gets them is his problem and why he gets paid the big bucks.. So..as poopy as it is.. its on him.. Id take miller but geezuz not for Yakcity.. Sens have a nice back up...

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#38 Greg the Hammer Valentine
October 17 2013, 10:55AM
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Hey! Where's the drunken guy who wants a good "golie"?

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#39 Newj
October 17 2013, 11:31AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Well, first you need to separate the issues.

1. Goalie issue. You don't trade a star forward for a goalie. Esp. a middling goalie who's a UFA making a ton of cash. crazy talk all-round.

2. You don't trade young stars in a panic. You don't trade them to battle sudden, unexpected change in historical play (i.e., the drop in sv%). You do trade them for equivalent value, i.e., a top 2 or 3 overall pick or a young stud D on a long term contract.

Any other conversation is ridiculous.

Lou gave up a 1st round pick (9th overall) to obtain Schneider (who himself was a 1st rounder). Most felt that was a sound trade made by Lou as a plan to succeed Brodeur.

Granted it was a pick & not a roster player/star player.

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#40 Tikkanese
October 17 2013, 11:41AM
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Why the panic? We all expected to be well below .500 until The Nuge and Gagner came back(or should have been expecting that). Both of whom are(Nuge), or will(Gagner) be back before they were expected to be.

Despite the goaltending issues and our defense not exactly playing defense well, we have many positives going. We're usually outshooting our opponents for once. Arcobello, Gazdic, Joensuu and Acton have all been pleasant surprises. Hemsky and Smyth have turned back the clocks. Belov may not be producing the points yet but I think we all see a player there.

Give it a few more games, if Dubnyk and Labarbera are both still underperforming, then I'm okay with hitting the panic button. It is not like they are rookies that have no track record.

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#41 mrBacon
October 17 2013, 11:42AM
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Bryz would be the worst thing for the Oilers dressing room since Souray.

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#42 David S
October 17 2013, 11:42AM
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Greg the Hammer Valentine wrote:

Hey! Where's the drunken guy who wants a good "golie"?

Drop by after the game tonight. The comments section of the game day thread will be littered with them.

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#43 KleptoKlown
October 17 2013, 11:46AM
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Remember when Bryz was still with Phoenix and he was asked about the Coyotes potentially moving back to Winnipeg? He slammed the city because it was too cold, not enough fun stuff to do and not enough Russians?

Replace "Winnipeg" with "Edmonton" and you have pretty much the exact same situation. The West Edmonton Mall is your one and only attraction, and it stopped being cool before the cOilers started this decade of disappointment.

@JW

I usually love reading your articles, as they're usually well thought out, and give me something to think about. This idea that Bryz would be willing to take a discount (1.5 million?!..really?!) to play in a city that represents everything he is avoiding is ludicrous. If it was about the Olympics (and I doubt Bryz cares about that) Bryz would be better off playing in the KHL showing some national pride. With the Flyers buyout money, Bryz can bide his time until a team he wants comes along. The Oilers might be able to coax him to sign if the contract vastly overpaid him, but other than that, old man Theodore is as good as you're going to get without trading assets.

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#44 OilDieHard
October 17 2013, 11:53AM
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DSF wrote:

Nick Kypreos ‏@RealKyper 17m

Note with trade talk, #Sabres Ryan Miller does have a limited no trade clause and #Oilers are one of the teams on his no trade list.

i'm glad because i never did want him here, so the feeling is mutual! besides, at his age and number of years he's been in the NHL, he's earned his right to go anywhere he wants.

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#45 Reality Check to the head
October 17 2013, 11:53AM
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Thanks for the update Willis, there is a distinction for sure.

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#46 Nina Russo
October 17 2013, 11:56AM
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Wow, to think MacT CHOSE Labarbera over Khudobin. MAYBE, just maybe we can switch out Freddy Chabot for a better goaltending Coach ... Ron Lowe or Andy Moog???

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#47 Harry
October 17 2013, 12:01PM
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Gordie Wayne wrote:

I posted this before, but how about we trade some defence prospects and/or draft picks for a legitimate goalie prospect.

At worst: We get a top goaltender for our AHL team and improve our organizational goalie depth.

At best: We get an immediate replacement for Dubnyk if all goes right.

Here are 3 top prospects that I would be aggressively targetting if I were MacT:

Robin Lehner (Senators - .938 in 31 GP in AHL last year) - 6'4 213 lbs. Age: 22

Frederik Andersen (Anaheim - .929 SP in 47 GP in AHL last year) - 6'4 230 lbs - Age: 24

Niklas Svedberg (Bruins - .925 SP in 48 GP in AHL last year) - 6'1 176 lbs. Age: 24

Lehner is likely untouchable (although for the right price, you never know), but the other 2 goalies should be trade-able as Anaheim and Boston have tremendous goalie depth in their system, and I am sure there are more options like this out there.

Sather was always able to find these up and coming goalies (Ranford, Cujo and Salo come to mind). Is it possible that MacT can channel his inner Sather?

Also, if you look down Highway 2, I seem to remember that team getting a goalie named Kiprusoff for a bag of pucks...

If I'm MacT I get on the phone and ask Brian Murray what he wants for Lehner then I immediately give it to him.

Yak and a 1st wouldn't be too much to pay.

LET THE TRASHING BEGIN

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#48 **
October 17 2013, 01:23PM
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ESPN reported that BRyzgalov was on a PTO in Vegas with the understanding he was just there to train, not play, so once it was over he was released as agreed. His agent said that he is looking for the right fit in the NHL and that he had already turned down an offer from an NHL. Gotta wonder if that was the Oilers. http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/27215/with-echl-camp-over-bryz-waits-for-nhl

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#49 legit
October 17 2013, 02:09PM
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i think they should try to get john gibson from anaheim? nail hmsky or some prospectd to get a deal done???

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#50 pelhem grenville
October 17 2013, 02:16PM
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...no Miller please especially @ $6.25 per

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