Edmonton Oilers waive Jason LaBarbera

Jonathan Willis
November 18 2013 10:20AM

 

The Edmonton Oilers announced on Monday morning that Jason LaBarbera had been waived. It's a move that comes as no surprise, given the arrival of Ilya Bryzgalov in Edmonton.

The Goalie Depth Chart

The Oilers suddenly have a pretty crowded goaltending depth chart, and the arrival of Ilya Bryzgalov as well as LaBarbera's freefall make it difficult to know with any certainty exactly how everything will shake out. My best guess today looks something like this:

  • Devan Dubnyk
  • Ilya Bryzgalov
  • Richard Bachman (injured)
  • Jason LaBarbera
  • Laurent Brossoit
  • Tyler Bunz

Assuming that Bryzgalov can play anywhere near his previous level of performance, Dubnyk is in for a pitched battle for starting minutes in Edmonton. Further assuming good health and no moves, the farm is a mess - two veteran goalies will be pushing for playing time and likely holding down highly-valued prospect Laurent Brossoit.  

What Now, LaBarbera?

There is the faint possibility that LaBarbera is claimed on waivers, which is doubtless what the Oilers would prefer. The case there is that a) his contract is at a low dollar figure for a single year and b) he's had a pretty decent NHL career. A team with injuries or goalie troubles might be willing to take him as a low-cost fill-in.

It seems unlikely, though, which means that LaBarbera will almost certainly be buried in the minors. He's been a good goalie for a long-time and it's reasonable to expect he can provide Oklahoma City with good goaltending; that isn't a bad thing for a development team. Until Bachman's healthy, the most logical course of action would likely be to demote Laurent Brossoit to the ECHL where he can get playing time and keep Tyler Bunz (who has been surprisngly good early) around as backup. 

Buried in the AHL, LaBarbera will continue to count for $75,000 against the Oilers' NHL salary cap until he's let go this summer. Of course, with both Dubnyk and Bryzgalov pending free agents and the Oilers on the road to nowhere, it's also possible that (with strong play) he's the post-trade deadline starter in Edmonton.

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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 geoilersgist
November 18 2013, 10:25AM
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Now that dubby has a crazy Russian backing him up he can back to the goalie he was.

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#2 Greenlingj
November 18 2013, 10:24AM
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Bring on Bryzgalov, hope you can push Dubnyk and find yourself in the NHL again and hopefully move you at the deadline for an asset :) lets turn this ship around and get back on course.

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#3 Spydyr
November 18 2013, 10:42AM
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oilers2k10 wrote:

I've always wondered do goalies get paid even if they sit on the bench?

This can't be for real, can it?

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#4 Ari Gold
November 18 2013, 10:23AM
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Good. Get rid of these mediocre tenders.

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#5 srbuhr
November 18 2013, 10:24AM
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To bad you can't waive the coach too!

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#6 David S
November 18 2013, 11:33AM
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Spydyr wrote:

This can't be for real, can it?

Maybe cut the guy some slack. Might be a little kid asking a legit question from his point of view.*

*Or this can't be real.

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#7 OilCanFan
November 18 2013, 10:39AM
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Greenlingj wrote:

Bring on Bryzgalov, hope you can push Dubnyk and find yourself in the NHL again and hopefully move you at the deadline for an asset :) lets turn this ship around and get back on course.

if Bryzgalov returns to form, why not try and re-sign him? He is already getting paid a whack of cash to not play for Philly so maybe he comes cheaper than some overpay in the offseason. I'd rather have Dubnyk and Bryzgalov as a tandem with great defense (assuming that could be done in the offseason) than some $6-8 million goalie that may or may not be great behind the current defense

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#8 yellow pone
November 18 2013, 11:00AM
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Biggie small wrote:

We could not see that coming!!!!! Too bad they shold waived pettry as well. once there was Poti, then Gilbert, now Pettry, they all play soft and generous with giveaways.

Gilbert and Petry would be first pairing on the Oilers. They would be a good second pairing on a contender. If you think Petry should be demoted you need to give your head a shake

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#9 Lofty
November 18 2013, 10:43AM
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Ari Gold wrote:

Good. Get rid of these mediocre tenders.

Mediocre goaltending is an upgrade on what was produced in the 1st 10 games.

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#10 yellow pone
November 18 2013, 01:17PM
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@DSF

What's your point? Vincent Lecavlier was bought out by Tampa Bay, and he's on pace for a 55 point season.

Petry's on ice save percentage is .885 and it's not like he bleeds chances against. In fact, his even strength scoring chance differential is positive. I'd say his minus reflects the poor goaltending more than it reflects any poor play by Petry.

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#11 Lochenzo
November 18 2013, 11:16AM
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While we're talking to Anaheim about Jonas Hiller, the Oilers should sack the Ducks' scouts and player development personnel. The Ducks' goalie development over the years has been an embarrassment of riches.

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#12 Johnnydapunk
November 18 2013, 12:58PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

[Quote] The Oil did alright with Roloson (because they had Chris Pronger) who seemed washed up when 6Rings traded for him and he was shockingly decent.

I fixed that there for you Johnny. It wasn't as much Roli as it was the combination of the two together.

Well that would I guess explain Roloson having a 28-24 record with a goals against south of 3 and and a save percentage of .915 in the 2008-09 season. Not sure how much Pronger helped that season...

I'm not saying he was Patrick Roy or a Fuhr by any means, but for a guy pushing 40 and getting numbers like that for an Oil team who weren't world beaters, I think he was a pretty good find.

Apparently he wasn't signed because he wanted a longer contract, shame he didn't as he ended up playing for another 3 seasons and putting up fairly respectable numbers.

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#13 Rob...
November 18 2013, 10:24AM
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Forget voodoo cleansings of the locker room, MacT has hired every witchdoctor he can get ahold to help ensure LaBarbera gets plucked off of waivers.

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#14 Spydyr
November 18 2013, 10:39AM
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It seems the "braintrust" is treating goal like defence.The are stocking up on #5 defencmen and back up and minor league goalies.

Guess we will have to wait till next summer for a goalie upgrade and perhaps a top pairing defencman.

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#15 camdog
November 18 2013, 10:49AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Too bad, Raanta looks like he could be a keeper.

I am really hoping a team picks up Labarbera. The log jam this creates in Oklahoma and in respect to the 50 man roster is not good for the Oilers.

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#17 Pikester
November 18 2013, 10:52AM
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Even though Bryzgalov is not the long term answer in net, I like the signing right now. It was a HUGE mistake for MacT to sign Labarbera in the summer, not just because of his less than stellar numbers but because he's Devans buddy. I get that MacT wanted to take the pressure off Dubbie to let him know he's the unchallenged no.#1 but man, did that ever blow up in his face!

Dubnyk seems like the kind of guy who needs to be constantly challenged. Maybe now we'll get some competetive goaltending night after night.

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#18 yellow pone
November 18 2013, 12:45PM
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@Cynic

Gilbert is playing first pairing minutes in Florida and is holding his own. Petry plays the opposition's best and is holding his head above water.

The idea that Petry and Gilbert are marginal NHL players is laughable. Maybe you should take your own advice, because it's apparent that you don't know much about what you're talking about.

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#19 Quicksilver ballet
November 18 2013, 12:56PM
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With Hemsky,Dubnyk and Shultz coming off the books at seasons end, perhaps the Oilers could use that second compliance buyout on Sam Gagner.

With this season already crumpled up in the garbage basket, time to start to try sell whatever isn't bolted to the floor.

Damn it's hot in this desert....

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#20 Ari Gold
November 18 2013, 10:42AM
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The Oilers think they're the recycle bin of the NHL. There's a reason why no one else wanted this junk.

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#21 Word
November 18 2013, 12:17PM
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David S wrote:

Maybe cut the guy some slack. Might be a little kid asking a legit question from his point of view.*

*Or this can't be real.

Good call, David S. I was going to simply give you props, but this deserved a full on shout-out.

Just cause it's the internet doesn't mean everyone has to be either sarcastic or smug.

If that was a young or new fan, I think ON should try to be the type of place that actually answers those question instead of trying to feel awesome by making fun of them anonymously.

That or at least do it right and make them cyber-cry...

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#22 tileguy
November 18 2013, 10:43AM
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Does Bryz automatically get the first start. I thought Dubes was more than accountable the last couple starts, but oh yeah, this is the oilers.

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#23 Vaclav
November 18 2013, 02:28PM
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DSF wrote:

Anaheim just acquired Jesse Blacker from the Leafs in return for Holland.

They also have last year's first round pick Shea Theodore in the system.

They're pretty much loaded with young D.

Marincin is a better prospect than Blacker and Theodore is still in the WHL. The Ducks have two very good defenceman on their roster in Vatanen and Lindholm but will be looking to fill the voids left by Souray, Beauchemin and Allen after next season.

Good teams keep the cupboards stocked and adding a solid prospect like Marincin should be something they'd consider.

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#24 TulipJones
November 18 2013, 10:44AM
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What happens when Bachman returns? I can't see the Oilers wanting two veteran goalies playing in the AHL and two prospects in the ECHL.

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#25 Fresh Mess
November 18 2013, 12:11PM
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When the Oilers are inevitably next in front of city council again demanding handouts for arena overages, or claiming they lost money this year, I wonder if anyone will question them on the three or four million dollars in NHL contracts being paid to minor league players.

Think of the millions of dollars wasted just this season paying out the fired GM and coach. Look at the ever growing hockey operations staff.

It's mind blowing how poor the management is of this franchise, and many others.

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#26 Wintoon
November 18 2013, 12:39PM
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sizzay wrote:

If we use the Bishop trade as a template, than potentially Arcobello + pick for Andersen would be feasible. Only question is, do the ducks need Arcobello? I would say no, unfortunately.

I'm unsure of any other 3rd/backup goalies that are pushing for a starting role like Andersen. Perhaps Eddie Lack but we likely won't trade with Vancouver. We may have to wait until the next hot thing out of Europe.

While goaltending surely needs upgrading, so does the top 6 and top 4. I would try to upgrade the D and the 2C position before worrying about goaltending THIS season. It's screwed already.

Gagner should be traded, I wanted him gone last year while he was putting up points. Sell high.

Shawn Matthias should be acquired as another Centre option in the bottom 6.

Erhoff and Kulikov should be inquired on.

I think at the end of the day, we likely grab Ekblad and wait for him, Nurse, and Klefbom. Not saying that's the best course of action but it's the easiest and most likely.

Gagner is an albatross around the Oilers necks. He is a tweener as a 2C and will never contribute to the Oilers becoming a contender. He just isn't well enough rounded to play in that position and the longer he stays the longer the fans will have to wait to see any form of success.

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#27 Spydyr
November 18 2013, 02:02PM
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Greenlingj wrote:

I can't get over this community.

Yes we need defense and badly.

We have a bunch of 5-6 guys and we had two 3-4 guys but sent one down the road...

but in development we have a legit number 1.

Nurse is sitting at 21 gp 7 g 16 a 22 pts +4

Klefbom, Marincin, Musil, J Schultz.

And the potential to use our pick to get Ekblad or upgrade our center position with a guy like Sam Reinhart.

Laurent Broissoit could be a legit elite goalie in the making...

These things take time and Mac T is right in saying trading for immediate reward now will be detrimental in the future.

Change the names it sounds like four years ago.Help is on its way.Just be patient.

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#28 moose
November 18 2013, 02:30PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Lets hope MacT does more than he did to attempt to acquire Bishop last year.... Oilers always overvalue their fluff... should have offered Hemsky for Bishop, would have killed two birds with one stone.

Incorrect. Bishop was a Tambellini fumble, not MacT.

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#29 camdog
November 18 2013, 10:34AM
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Hopefully somebody picks up Labarbera, both for his sake and the Oilers. Chicago is desperate for a back up goalie that can stop a beach ball, the Brullin Wall's numbers are horrendous and he's injured again.

Does anybody know if they have a competant 3rd stringer in the system?

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#30 Quicksilver ballet
November 18 2013, 12:00PM
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Damn you Shea Weber...it's all his fault the goaltending appears so inadequate.

* If only he were an Oiler, they'd have someone capable of making a decent zone clearing first pass. Someone to get the puck up to the few capable Oiler forwards. A sheriff and someone to settle things down would make a world of difference on this blueline. A legitimate No.1, he's the key to helping make the rest of his blueliners more confident than they have been to date.

Now that Seth Jones has been as advertised, everybody knows that ownership group in Nashville must be looking to shed the remaining nearly 75 million remaining on that deal. It's only a matter of time before he's wearing new silks. Could be a match there for what the Oilers have, and what the Preds need. It's either that, or wait 3 more yrs for these Ekblad/ Nurse or Klefbom types to develop.

*Cut and pasted from 2 years ago, who knew.....

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#31 BobbyCanuck
November 18 2013, 12:44PM
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oilers2k10 wrote:

I've always wondered do goalies get paid even if they sit on the bench?

Yes they do, there are three types of contracts: One way, and Two way.

One way: The goalie has an NHL contract, and gets paid his contractual amount per week, regardless of whether he plays or not.

Two Way: Usually for rookies, or young ones, or career back-ups. This one means that if they get called up to the NHL, they will get paid an NHL salary while on call up.When they get sent back down to the minors, they will get paid the minor salary.

Minors: THe goalie gets paid the minors salary, regardless of whethre he gets called up or not

Giong by memory, feel free to add to this fellows question, and to the folks that talked this question down, and catogorically called the writer an idiot for not knowing..I want you to think back to a time in your life when you asked a simple question, and someone ripped you a new as$ho@le. Felt good did it not?

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#32 DSF
November 18 2013, 12:48PM
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yellow pone wrote:

Gilbert is playing first pairing minutes in Florida and is holding his own. Petry plays the opposition's best and is holding his head above water.

The idea that Petry and Gilbert are marginal NHL players is laughable. Maybe you should take your own advice, because it's apparent that you don't know much about what you're talking about.

You know Gilbert was bought out by Minnesota, right?

And, I'm sure you're aware Petry is on pace for a -40 season, right?

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#33 Quicksilver ballet
November 18 2013, 01:07PM
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Johnnydapunk wrote:

Well that would I guess explain Roloson having a 28-24 record with a goals against south of 3 and and a save percentage of .915 in the 2008-09 season. Not sure how much Pronger helped that season...

I'm not saying he was Patrick Roy or a Fuhr by any means, but for a guy pushing 40 and getting numbers like that for an Oil team who weren't world beaters, I think he was a pretty good find.

Apparently he wasn't signed because he wanted a longer contract, shame he didn't as he ended up playing for another 3 seasons and putting up fairly respectable numbers.

There's two sides to every blade. If Roli stays, Oilers remain in never never land (15 to 20th overall) the yr the Oiler took Taylor Hall.

I see what your point is though. Rolison wanted 2 yrs, and Lowe stood firm on one. Management has botched up on many occasions these last 8 yrs. They've screwed themselves thinking they're smarter than most, when they ended up being their own worst enemy.

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#34 Old School G
November 18 2013, 01:13PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

With Hemsky,Dubnyk and Shultz coming off the books at seasons end, perhaps the Oilers could use that second compliance buyout on Sam Gagner.

With this season already crumpled up in the garbage basket, time to start to try sell whatever isn't bolted to the floor.

Damn it's hot in this desert....

I think that if Lou can bring in a "replacement" in Schenieder to split time with Brodeur, one of the best goalies of all time and a career Devil, the Oilers should take note and realize that hockey is a business not a friendship. Gagner should not be safe at any time if he can be part of any move to make us a more complete and competitive team.

I think that we have a way better chance at going hard for PK Subban than Shea Weber. I believe that Weber is Nashville's version of Lidstrom, we all want him but he's not going anywhere ever. Judging by past contract negotiations with PK I don't get this same feel from MTL.

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#35 Dog Train
November 18 2013, 01:30PM
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This move was a foregone conclusion. I have to admit that I will miss Labarbera's mask.

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#36 jakethesnake
November 18 2013, 02:46PM
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Are you kidding, even HNC guys were mentioning Oilers have bounch of # 5 D man in current roster. As far is Gilbert why was he bought out for reason... Seriously Don't take what HNC people say seriously Those guys know less about hockey then my 80 year old granny Those guys work for HNC because no one else would hire them Eliot Freedman is the only guy there that knows anything

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#37 Clarko
November 18 2013, 11:00AM
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OilCanFan wrote:

if Bryzgalov returns to form, why not try and re-sign him? He is already getting paid a whack of cash to not play for Philly so maybe he comes cheaper than some overpay in the offseason. I'd rather have Dubnyk and Bryzgalov as a tandem with great defense (assuming that could be done in the offseason) than some $6-8 million goalie that may or may not be great behind the current defense

I don't think the Oilers will re-sign him either way. If he plays well, I would think Bryz would want to sign with a better team next summer. If he does poorly, then the Oilers obviously won't want to re-sign him.

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#38 Oiler Al
November 18 2013, 02:24PM
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Vaclav wrote:

I suspect the Oilers are going to take a run at Jonas Hiller next summer but Frederik Andersen may be the real prize out of Anaheim's system. With Viktor Fasth signed through 2015 and John Gibson the heir apparent MacTavish should do what he can to acquire Andersen.

With Lindholm and Vatanen both graduating to the big club the Ducks might want to replenish their d-corps prospect pool with someone like Marincin.

Lets hope MacT does more than he did to attempt to acquire Bishop last year.... Oilers always overvalue their fluff... should have offered Hemsky for Bishop, would have killed two birds with one stone.

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#39 Quicksilver ballet
November 18 2013, 02:38PM
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moose wrote:

Incorrect. Bishop was a Tambellini fumble, not MacT.

MacT was here, and very much involved last season. Tambellini was just here to take the bullets for the behind the scenes management group. ALL decisions were made via their daily pow wow support group therapy sessions they'd hold.

To think one guy is responsible for this debacle, is mistaken.

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#40 tileguy
November 18 2013, 02:43PM
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tileguy wrote:

Does Bryz automatically get the first start. I thought Dubes was more than accountable the last couple starts, but oh yeah, this is the oilers.

Just found out the answer, maybe things are changing.

"According to head coach Dallas Eakins, as long as regular starter Devan Dubnyk is playing well — a rarity this season; hence, the Bryzgalov signing — the Oilers won’t switch goalies. “A lot will have to do if Dubs can keep rolling like he is,” said Eakins, per the Canadian Press. “Dubs is going lights out, Dubs gets the net.”

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#41 Walter Sobchak
November 18 2013, 03:40PM
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I like how some think the Oilers are going to turn this around with just goaltending or a number 1 defensmen.

Even if Brysgalov plays out of his head, which seems unlikely given his history, the Oilers top six, bottom six are horrible put together.

There's just so much wrong with this team that moves now are just a short term patch.

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#42 Vaclav
November 18 2013, 03:41PM
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DSF wrote:

There is absolutely no evidence that "Marincin is a better prospect than Blacker".

None.

Both are mid second round draft picks and both have played well in the AHL.

As for the long term, when Beauchemin, Souray and Allen leave Anaheim will likely use their cap space to sign a couple of veterans to replace them while their young studs move up the batting order.

Good teams do indeed keep the cupboards stocked but they generally do that through the draft not by trading stating goaltenders for them.

Yeah, no evidence whatsoever:

Boxcars: Blacker 2012/13 - 4G, 7A -4 Marincin 2012/13 - 7G, 23A +20

Marincin is a year younger, 2 inches taller, and skates as well as Blacker. Both have some chaos in their game.

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#43 tileguy
November 18 2013, 10:26AM
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Are we at 50 contracts yet?

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#44 Vaclav
November 18 2013, 10:44AM
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I suspect the Oilers are going to take a run at Jonas Hiller next summer but Frederik Andersen may be the real prize out of Anaheim's system. With Viktor Fasth signed through 2015 and John Gibson the heir apparent MacTavish should do what he can to acquire Andersen.

With Lindholm and Vatanen both graduating to the big club the Ducks might want to replenish their d-corps prospect pool with someone like Marincin.

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#45 Biggie small
November 18 2013, 10:48AM
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We could not see that coming!!!!! Too bad they shold waived pettry as well. once there was Poti, then Gilbert, now Pettry, they all play soft and generous with giveaways.

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#46 Quicksilver ballet
November 18 2013, 12:21PM
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@Johnnydapunk

[Quote] The Oil did alright with Roloson (because they had Chris Pronger) who seemed washed up when 6Rings traded for him and he was shockingly decent.

I fixed that there for you Johnny. It wasn't as much Roli as it was the combination of the two together.

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#47 camdog
November 18 2013, 12:32PM
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Listening to the Team right now. Sounds like the reporters are all trying to goat Bryzgalov into saying something "quoteable". lol

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#48 David S
November 18 2013, 02:43PM
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BobbyCanuck wrote:

Yes they do, there are three types of contracts: One way, and Two way.

One way: The goalie has an NHL contract, and gets paid his contractual amount per week, regardless of whether he plays or not.

Two Way: Usually for rookies, or young ones, or career back-ups. This one means that if they get called up to the NHL, they will get paid an NHL salary while on call up.When they get sent back down to the minors, they will get paid the minor salary.

Minors: THe goalie gets paid the minors salary, regardless of whethre he gets called up or not

Giong by memory, feel free to add to this fellows question, and to the folks that talked this question down, and catogorically called the writer an idiot for not knowing..I want you to think back to a time in your life when you asked a simple question, and someone ripped you a new as$ho@le. Felt good did it not?

YOU SIR are the BatKid of Oilers Nation.

Good job. Thanks for proving not everybody here is a self-rightous d!ck.

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#49 Craig1981
November 18 2013, 10:42AM
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Could they not find another AHL team to lend out a couple of their goalies too?

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#50 Lochenzo
November 18 2013, 10:54AM
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Pekka Rinne is out and the backups have not been very good in Nashville. Chance that they pick him up, assuming Nashville has less than 50 contracts.

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