Oilers Trade Garon to Pittsburgh

Well, we’ve seen the first real trade of the Steve Tambellini era. In a time where NHL goaltenders are being dropped for nothing on the waiver wire (Sanford) or garnering no more than a 7th round pick (Labarbera), Tambellini actually managed to bring in a decent return. Here’s the trade:

To Pittsburgh: Mathieu Garon

To Edmonton: Dany Sabourin, Ryan Stone, 4th Round Pick

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First, from Pittsburgh’s perspective, they obviously believe that Garon has the potential to play better than he has this past season. Garon had a strong game last night against Colorado, and started the year well, but there has been obvious friction between him and the coaching staff, especially goaltending coach Pete Peeters. Pittsburgh’s struggled with poor goaltending all season; Marc-Andre Fleury’s .905 SV% isn’t nearly as good as it needs to be, while veteran backup Dany Sabourin is four games below .500 and has an .898 SV%. Garon is in the final season of a two-year, 1.1M/season contract, and although he’s posted a .895 SV% this season, the past two years he’s had a .907 SV% and .913 SV%. This is a good opportunity for Garon to get back on track on a very talented team.

As far as I can tell, Dany Sabourin is on a one-way contract, albeit one that will pay him a very modest 512K this season, which is its final year. I think that he is sent down to Springfield, where he should help spell the extremely over-worked Devan Dubnyk, and solidify Springfield’s goaltending situation. Sabourin’s an average NHL backup (hovering around the .900 SV% mark the last three seasons) but he’s been excellent in the AHL, topping the .920 SV% mark his last three seasons there. By comparison, Dubnyk’s played nearly every game for Springfield, posting a .903 SV% this season. Additionally, Sabourin serves as built in insurance if Jeff Deslauriers falters over more games.

Ryan Stone is the key player coming back. He was a second-round pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, and likely would have been picked higher if not for a concussion that affected his season. Here’s what the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said about him after his selection:

Stone explained his resume in similar terms. Asked how many of his two dozen fights he had lost, he replied: “I haven’t lost too many.”

Despite narrowly missing being a first-round pick, Stone is a project. His top priority, as he allowed, is improving his skating, a common criticism among scouts.

Stone is viewed as a player in the mold of Brad May or Darren McCarty, owning the potential to develop his skills to a respectable level and having the edge to create enough room for himself to make it happen. He is versatile, having spent time on left wing and the power-play point. He also has been praised for helping Brandon win at least two playoff rounds in each of his two years there.

Stone is a restricted free agent after this season. He hasn’t scored at a high level in the AHL; back in 2006-07 he was on pace for his best season offensively when a nasty hand injury forced him out of the line-up. He is a very physical player, not shy about fighting, and is widely regarded as a two-way forward.

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The 4th round pick is, as Lowetide says “another bullet in the gun”, but by itself it is a better return than Los Angeles got for the very comparable Jason Labarbera.

The only way I can see this trade is as a hands-down win for the Edmonton Oilers, and also for Mathieu Garon. Anybody who thought they were going to get more than this is greatly overvaluing Garon; in fact, if you’d told me yesterday that this trade was going to happen, I wouldn’t have believed it.

  • Hippy

    @ 442Junkie:

    Have you watched the whole season?

    Garon was awful most of the year. He lost his job because he was inferior.

    He has never been able to be a number one goaltender for ANY team over the long haul.

    He has been traded five times.

    This is not some kind of conspiracy, they played the better goaltender. It it that simple.

  • Hippy

    One caveat: I wrote this before seeing that the Islanders had lost their recently signed KHL import to Columbus, so it may be that Sabourin won't clear waivers, and (I'm speculating here) could be swapped to to New York almost immediately.

  • Hippy

    I like this move. Springfield is in rough shape right now and should Sabourin clear waivers he'll definitely be a big help in net, and Stone should have an immediate impact in Springfield who are in desperate need of depth at forward with the departures of Reddox, Brule and Potulny to the Oilers.

    This also helps get rid of the 3 goalie distraction in Edmonton and JDD should get more playing time as the season progresses. This is also a great move for Garon who will definitely see more playing time in Pittsburgh. It's not the blockbuster trade everyone hoped for, but it's a good deal regardless.

  • Hippy

    another crap trade by a struggling club and an embarrassing head office. we need consistent goaltending night in and night out for the rest of the season. they only factor i'm still hoping/betting on, is the rumor that this is all in part of a process to aquire bowmeester and kovalchuck, or gaborik, all whom oilers have made serious offers
    for! still the worst move made by the klowe mind, was getting rid of smytty for shit all. nillson and omarra? whopdeedoo. the biys on the bus club needs to either smarten up and impress oil fans, or get in to a bus a join a club thats going down like phoenix. at least gretz would go down with you. until then tell me where i can send my resume to become the new oilers gm!

  • Hippy

    Stone sounds exactly like what the Doctor orders for Springfield and to a lesser extent the Oilers.

    He is a solid winger with some size and Grit. (for all of you posters who have been complaining about the Oilers lack of size on the roster, both her and at the farm, this helps address this concern.

    A player that bangs a crashes makes room for himself and isn't offensively inept.

    This is a very solid trade by Tambellini. I am with Willis, I wouldn't have believed it a day ago considering what goaltenders have been going for.

    The three headed monster is dead. And if we get another pick for Sabourin, then we'll have a two picks and a prospect for Garon. Much better than putting him on the waiver wire.