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

    Ok so I have been reading some of these comments for the last few days and decided that I was gonna give some thoughts. First of all I agree with the trade that tambo made. It was the best for the team right now. I know I probably feel like a lot of people that I wanted to see garon do well this year especially after doing so well last year. But if you look at it he never really got a typically number one goalie shot. It took kipper 10-15 games to get rolling this year and yet the flames kept playing him even if he had 2-3 stnkers in a row. I agree of just another case of mac-t killing players. And as for pete peters I'm sure he is a great guy and he probably got along better with roli than garon because they are about the same age… but lets be honest, when is the last legitimate number 1 goalie the oilers have ever produced from within there own system…. maybe Billy Ranford, but still I'm sure he came from boston or something. As for the guys talking about penner, I say they package him with say horcoff, schrempf and maybe something else for someone like lecavalier and say a lower draft pick. On a side note…Jack Daniels is delicious

  • Hippy

    Calgary doesn't have another legitimate goaltender. @ gipper:

    They kept playing Kipper because Calgary doesn't have a legitimate back-up.

    They kept on playing Roloson because Garon showed this year he was a mediocre backup.

  • Hippy

    @ gipper:
    Trades aren't about the players anymore; they are about the exchange of contracts. Tampa doesn't want Penner or Horcoff because together they will cost more than Vinny next year. Also Jack Daniels is corn wiskey…Real Canadian MEN drink Rye.

  • Hippy

    Speaking of LeCavlier… There are rumors from multiple sources that the Oilers are being very aggressive in the Lecavlier sweepstakes (Remember Hossa?). I'm not sure we have the kind of cheap assets Tampa is looking for; but Sabourin could backup Mike Smith in net if Tampa goes with a youth movement. Maybe Tambo is offering up a pile of picks… We don't draft that great anyway… (Relax Willis…I'm just being cranky this morning!)

  • Hippy

    Don't like it. Definitely think they should've given Garon a better chance. So now they're supposed to rely on Roloson and Deslauriers! Well here's to another year finishing out of the playoffs.

  • Hippy

    @ Damien:

    So Garon's below .900 percentage was going to get us in the playoffs?

    So they should have traded Roloson who has been the Oilers best goaltender all year?

    So they should have traded JDD who they have spent years developing?

    It only made sense to trade the goaltender that has proven that he is a career backup. That goaltender was Garon!

  • Hippy

    I like Lecavalier, but swapping Hemsky for him would hamstring this franchise financially.

    Besides, while Lecavalier' a better offensive performer, Hemsky's a better hockey player.

  • Hippy

    @ gipper:
    I'm kind of kidding. I generally don't get involved in discussions like these… and here I am initiating one. There are bloggers in 29 other markets speculating about what they would give for Vinny Lecavlier. When I say I would trade Hemskey, however, I am serious. You always win the trade when you get the best player… Vinny is a top 5 forward in this league. Hemskey is not.

    In my dream world, however; the Oilers could send either Gagner or Cogliano, Sabourin or Deslaurier, and a pile of picks for Lecavlier. A trade like this would be a win-win for both organizations remebering each group has differnt objectives right now… I suspect, though, that Montreal will be in a position to offer more. If the Habs want to bankrupt their future for a shot at the cup on their 100th anniversary; How can Tambo stop them?

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    Besides, while Lecavalier’ a better offensive performer, Hemsky’s a better hockey player.

    LOL! Pass the glue! Save your stats…Vinny is on a brutal team! Hemskey vs Iginla or LECAVLIER vs Iginla.

    Sorry I'm out for breakfast with the family. Looking forward to checking on this thread later.

  • Hippy

    So If Roli has been the best goalie all year can anyone explain to me how he managed to lose all three of his first starts? Where as Garon won all three of his first starts. Garon did go into the tamk but all of the media in the city were giving it a resounding "it sure hasn't been the goaltending that has been losing them games." Npw I'm not saying Roli hasn't been good for the last fifteen to twenty games but he was given that ball to run with after a mediocre start to the season.

    Garon lost his starting gig to the coaches guy, plain and simple. He wasn't out performed.

    Any of you who think he was need to look back at the start of the season and see that although he was anointed the starter he was never really given the job. It's always been Roli's they were just trying to appease the fans.

    I am now officially on the fire MacT and the whole coaching staff bandwagon. Pete Peters only developed Conklin and Markenen. Good back ups. Maybe that's why this team is in love with back-ups so much…

    Let the attack of the Roli backers begin. I still say it was never Garon's job to lose.

  • Hippy

    Chris wrote:

    LOL! Pass the glue! Save your stats…Vinny is on a brutal team! Hemskey vs Iginla or LECAVLIER vs Iginla.

    I'm with JW on this. Even without talking about salary (a big consideration), Hemsky is a more complete player. Love him or hate him, MacT has forced every member of the Oilers to think defensively every shift. While many teams urge their forwards to win the Rocket Richard, MacT coaches to win the Selke. As a result, Hemsky might not quite match Vinnie's total points this season, but he's far more reliable to have on the ice against top opposition. Now factor in the salary savings, and Hemsky's the clearly superior value. I'd give up a lot for Lacavlier, but not Hemsky.

  • Hippy

    Smokin' Ray wrote:

    GAME DAY PEOPLE!!!

    I am fortunate enough to go to another retirement game against Pheonix. Hopefully this one is better than the Messier game.

    4th time that Oilers have played Pheonix in a jersey retirement game.

    Kurri – Oct 6 2001 Win (6-2)
    Coffee – Oct 18 2006 Loss (4-3)
    Messier – Feb 27 2007 Loss (3-0)

    Got to win this one to get to .500 in retiement games against the Dogs. We need this game to keep our hopes of play-offs alive too.

  • Hippy

    @ Ender the Dragon:

    You guys here honestly think Hemsky is a better player than Vinny.

    Holy take off the Oil covered glasses for a minute.

    A rocket richard trophy winner. A stanley cup. 28 years old only. Hes accomplished more in his career already than hemsky will ever do.

    Settle down.

  • Hippy

    Hemsky over Lecavalier is an easy one. Hemsky all the way. he's younger(more upside), better defensively as stated above, and is everybit the point per game player this year that Lacavalier is. If the Oilers can get Lecavaler, do what ever it takes. Here is what I would offer TB.
    To TB:
    Horcoff, Grebeshkov, Schremp or Dubnyk and 2 picks.
    To Edm:
    Lecavalier
    That is just an idea

  • Hippy

    CurtisS wrote:

    Hemsky cant even tie Vinny’s skates

    What are you drunk!!!
    Go look at the numbers and compare the two at the point where Hemsky is at too where Lecavalier was at the same point in his career and the numbers are similar with the exception of goals because untill this year Hemsky was shooting less.
    Vinny has twice as many point true, but he's been in the league 5 years longer than Hemsky, and with the exception of Vinny's 108 pt year in 2006-07, he hasn't exaclty ripped it up stats wise.
    There both team first guys and great players, but I would still take Hemsky because of his potential upside.

  • 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

    @ Bob Sakimano:

    Come on now. Honestly.

    Hemsky has more upside?? I want you to explain. Hemsky is only 3 years younger than Vinny. He cant even get over 20 goals or get over a ppg.

    Vinny has been a allstar how many times?? Hemsky how many? Canada Oylmipic team….hemmer wouldnt get a sniff for team canada.Rocket richard winner. Hemsky will never get 30 goals. Vinny with a cup ring by the time he was 23. Um hemsky not so much.

    Do you want more. We could start at the age of 16 and compare that Vinny's #'s, they have been greater than Hemsky's every year.

    Yet you say hes a better player. Come on now. Be honest at least.

  • Hippy

    @ CurtisS:

    I disagree with you, but I've got a post coming up that has a full explanation of my view, so I'm going to wait until it's posted before I get into it more.

    Over at LT's, Vinny vs. Hemsky's been discussed; I recall maybe 1 or 2 folks interested. Nobody wants to swap that contract.

    In point of fact, over there I'm probably the biggest advocate of acquiring Lecavalier, because I think he fits a role on this team. Others – not so much.