Mathieu Garon: (almost) worth his weight in draft position

Here’s Mathieu Garon’s stats line from the last couple of seasons:

2004-05 – AHL -– 32-14-4, 2.12 GAA, .927 SV%

2005-06 – NHL –- 31-26-3, 3.22 GAA, .894 SV%

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2006-07 – NHL –- 13-10-6, 2.66 GAA, .907 SV%

2007-08 – NHL –- 26-18-1, 2.66 GAA, .913 SV%

2008-09 – NHL –- 5-8-0, 3.36 GAA, .885 SV%

Here is the stats line of a very comparable player:

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2004-05 – AHL –- 31-16-2, 1.84 GAA, .934 SV%

2005-06 – NHL –- 11-9-2, 2.89 GAA, .900 SV%

2006-07 – AHL –- 39-20-1, 2.20 GAA, .933 SV%

2007-08 – NHL –- 17-23-2, 3.00 GAA, .910 SV%

2008-09 – NHL –- 5-8-4, 2.83 GAA, .893 SV%

The latter goaltender is bigger, younger and cheaper. His name is Jason Labarbera, and last night the Vancouver Canucks acquired him from Los Angeles in exchange for a seventh round draft pick.

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In other words, if there was any confusion as to why Mathieu Garon has not been traded by the Oilers, there shouldn’t be. It’s because there simply isn’t a market for inconsistent goaltenders that have never held down a starting job in the NHL for two seasons in a row, particularly when said goaltender is in the midst of a poor season.

With Jeff Deslauriers on a two-week conditioning stint, it’s hard not to feel that a change is coming. Deslauriers will have an opportunity to play some games, get the rust off, and show what he can do (he’s done well so far this season, but in a grand total of six games -– that’s not enough of a sample to inspire confidence) over the next two weeks. Once he returns, the Oilers have a decision to make, and unless that decision involves moving one of Deslauriers or Roloson, the obvious solution is to move Mathieu Garon.

Quite probably in exchange for nothing.


  • Hippy

    I agree. Garon may have been mismanaged this year, however, he had to come up big when he got his chance to play. He has not done this.
    As long as Deslauriers shows solid play in the AHL, Garon will be the one that is moved.

  • Hippy

    Ya I was surprised how little Labarbera was worth. I guess Garon is worth more to the Oilers than a 7th rounder, in the event of JDD not being able to carry the mail or Roli getting hurt.

  • Hippy

    Sean wrote:

    Ya I was surprised how little Labarbera was worth. I guess Garon is worth more to the Oilers than a 7th rounder, in the event of JDD not being able to carry the mail or Roli getting hurt.

    While I would like to still hold out hope that we will make a play-off run, I think it would be better if we parted with Garon. One of these days we will get a diamond in the rough with a 7th round pick.

    While other teams in the west are hitting their stride, it seems our team is having a tough time finding the consistency to play night to night. I would rather part with Garon & see if JDD has the goods to play in the league with Roli there JIC.

  • Hippy

    John: I don't know about nothing.
    If the Oilers play their cards right and get a willing trade partner, they could end up with maybe a fifth-rounder — like Tom Gilbert.

  • Hippy

    RobinB: At this point, I think that would have to be considered a victory. Of course, even a 7th rounder isn't nothing (sometimes it's Kyle Brodziak, or the price for Jan Hejda); but it isn't close to what most fans probably expect in exchange for a guy who was the starter last season.

  • Hippy

    I remember Pete Peeters being asked his opinion of Garon at the start of this season. While most of us were expecting a ringing edorsement, Pete instead said that he doesn't make judgements on any goalie until he's seen two solid seasons worth of numbers. Most of us (me included) poo-poo'd and thought Pete was just being non-commital.

    Hmmm . . . maybe Pete saw something – even way back then – that the rest of us just hadn't had the opportunity to see. Unfortunately for the Oilers GM, by now the whole league has seen what Pete saw.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    A draft pick who turned into Gilbert or anything close to him would be a steal at this point.

    Despite my insistence Garon needed to play more than 50 game earlier this season — back when MacTavish had annointed him the No. 1 guy before mishandling him into oblivion — he is the guy that needs to go, for whatever the Oilers can get.

    Roloson has played better and is a better choice as a mentor for Deslauriers.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    And

    @ RobinB:
    I agree with you guys about Garon having to go. I am not a Roli fan but he has been by far the better goalie to this point. But all of this does beg one question… What about next year?

    Roli on a One year deal, or go the route of trade or free agency, or hope JDD and Dubnyk can carry the load?

  • Hippy

    I think Dubnyk needs another year in the minors. JDD needs a mentor and I think Roli can be that guy. He is a total professional, and I love the cheap shots he gives to guys who are screening him.

  • Hippy

    David Rohlf Fan Club President wrote:

    Jonathan Willis wrote:
    The only problem with 5th round draft picks is that you’re much more likely to acquire David Rohlfs than Tom Gilbert.
    HEY! WTF??

    lol, nice work {applause}

  • Hippy

    From hero to Zero in short order. somewhat similar to what Rolly went through last year or Chris Osgood is going through again in Detroit or jose theodore has gone through a couple times or both the guys in
    Chicago and on and on.

    At the beginning of this year, Kipper was awful and I was hopeful that Calgary had wasted a ton of dough on him. I do not think JDD is going to be the long term answer. I think Rolly stays another year and some other mid range guy is brought in next year.

    I am willing to bet that Garon gets moved for not much and shows up decently for a while with his new team, just like Theodore did in Denver.

  • Hippy

    @ Hockey Gods:

    Free-agent or trade. I like Roli, but at some point age is going to get him, and Dubnyk's getting destroyed through over-work in the A, so it seems the only sensible solution.

  • Hippy

    rindog wrote:

    @ RobinB:
    Mentor him on how to achieve 148 wins in 418 career decesions????

    Because clearly, Roloson's low career winning percentage is due to his personal deficincies and is not caused by spending the vast majority of his career playing for an expansion team/the late-90's Calgary Flames.

  • Hippy

    @ RobinB:

    I am actually just being a [email protected], but I think you get my drift.

    I agree that Roli is playing well now – but hardly the guy that we want signed for next year (espcially if JDD is not ready).

    At what point do we see if Garon is capable? Does our MVP from last season not warrant a serious shot at showing us he can be the guy?

    Just curious, of his 7 losses (not counting the loss he got tagged for when he came in relief for Roli vs Detroit), how many of them did the team play great and Garon let them down?

    Colorado
    Vancouver
    Nashville
    Pittsburgh
    Florida
    Chicago
    Ottawa

    GAA and save percentage or one thing, but when you have fundamental "team" defensive breakdowns like the first goal against Ottawa last night (and all season long) – you can hardly blame the goalie….

    Neither of our 3 goalies have been the problem this year…have they?

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:

    Garon has played for just as many crappy teams as Roli has.

    Garon has 27 less wins in 220 fewer starts. Their percentages are very similar and Garon is almost 10 years younger.

    When the two played with the same team in front of them last year – Garon out played Roli by far.

    Being the math/stats guy that you are – doesn't that count for something?

  • Hippy

    Mathieu Garon this season:

    Game 1 – Colorado: Made 31 saves, won 3-2.
    Game 2 – Anaheim: Made 33 saves, won 3-2.
    Game 3 – Calgary: Made 31 saves, won 3-2.
    Game 4 – Colorado: Made 21 saves, lost 4-1.
    Game 5 – Vancouver: Made 24 saves, lost 6-3.
    Game 6 – Nashville: Made 22 saves, lost 3-1.
    Game 7 – Pittsburgh: Made 15 saves, 5-0 when replaced.
    Game 8 – Detroit: Made 24 saves, allowed 1 goal in 4-3 loss (replaced Roli).
    Game 9 – Dallas: Made 23 saves, won 5-2.
    Game 10 – Los Angeles: Made 34 saves, won 5-4.
    Game 11 – Florida: Made 14 saves, allowing 1 goal in 2-0 loss.
    Game 12 – Chicago: Made 16 saves, allowed 5 goals in 9-2 loss.

    By my count, that's 6 strong games out of 12 total, with two trainwrecks and some weak-to-mediocre performances in the other four.

  • Hippy

    @ rindog:

    There's six players on the ice. The goaltender is one of them.

    In other words, when it comes to evaluating goaltenders, I don't put much trust in total wins.

  • Hippy

    rindog wrote:

    When the two played with the same team in front of them last year – Garon out played Roli by far.

    And this season it's reversed.

    Garon's going to be fine at some point down the road, but if I were a GM, there's absolutely no way I would entrust my hockey team to him as a starter. Garon-Roloson is fine because there are two guys who can do the job, but Garon-JDD is not.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:

    That seems like a long way of avoiding my question? Which of the 7 games that he lost was he directly responsible for losing (I have my answer – but I am waiting)?

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:

    Roli got 30+ games to try and prove he was as good as Garon last year. When it was evident that he wasn't – he got relegated to being the back-up.

    Garon (our MVP from last year) got 7 games (3 of them stellar wins that the team didn't deserve) before he got benched for a month????

    Are they really the same treatments? Have we really given Garon the opportunity he earned?

  • Hippy

    @ rindog:

    Games Garon was responsible for winning:3
    Games Garon was responsible for losing:4
    Games Garon played like crap, along with everyone else:1

    That's my count. What's yours?