Random stuff: KHL goaltenders

So I’ll admit off the top that this post has almost nothing to do with the Edmonton Oilers specifically, beyond the fact that it could count as beating the dead “Garon has no trade value at all” horse. It is hockey-related though, and features Ray Emery!

Since I mentioned Ray Emery, let’s start with him. He recently played in the incredibly cool looking KHL All-Star game, and his rather nice KHL numbers have sparked rumours of an NHL return next season. Still, for any GMs with an interest in Emery, I’d advise that they at least check out another goalie.

  • Emery: 19-6-0, 1.99 GAA, 0.929 SV%
  • Other Guy: 11-4-6, 1.69 GAA, 0.941 SV%

The other guy is Vitaly Kolesnik, a Kazakh goaltender who has spent the last two seasons in Russia after coming to North America in 2005-06. Kolesnik was fairly good; he went 3-3 for Colorado (3.24 GAA, .888 SV%) and outplayed the other six goaltenders on his AHL team, posting a .917 SV% and being the only goaltender with a better than .500 record (it may also be worth noting that Cam Ward went 0-2 with a .915 SV% on that team).

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I don’t mean to take anything away from Emery, because Kolesnik is a good goaltender too, but I think it’s probably fair to say that the gaudy statistics Emery has put up have more to do with the quality of his team than a superhuman performance on his part.

Of course, NHL GMs make funny decisions all the time with goaltenders. Consider the New York Islanders, who decided to bring back Wade Dubielewicz, who had been recently bought out of his KHL contract. Here’s Dubielewicz, compared to his teammate Stanislav Galimov:

  • Dubielewicz: 11-8-3, 2.77 GAA, 0.892 SV%
  • Galimov: 17-3-1, 1.91 GAA, 0.924 SV%

Obviously, there’s a transition involved to playing in Russia. Perhaps Dubielewicz’s play was affected by off-ice issues. Still, it seems odd to me that the Islanders would chose to sign Dubielewicz over, say, claiming Curtis Sanford, when Dubielewicz was massively outplayed by Galimov, an undrafted player who only established himself as a KHL-level netminder this season (last season, he’d sunk as low as the third-tier Russian league at one point). Would it have been that hard to finagle Mathieu Garon or Jeff Deslauriers out of Edmonton?

Another North American player over in the KHL right now is Tyler Moss. Moss was once Oilers’ property (acquired for Peter Sarno) and he played for the Roadrunners during the NHL lockout. He’s had cups of coffee in the NHL (most notably with the 1998-99 Calgary Flames), but mostly he’s been an above-average AHL net-minder. Here’s Moss, compared to his teammate Sergei Borisov:

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  • Moss: 8-13-3, 2.77 GAA, .903 SV%
  • Borisov: 8-10-1, 2.33 GAA, .916 SV%

I point this out because Borisov is an undrafted 23-year old, and right now he’s one of the better goaltenders in what is either the second-best or third-best league in the world. Galimov, who I pointed out above, is an undrafted 20-year old, and he’s right in Emery territory stats-wise.

I believe this is a big part of the reason why top-level AHL goalies and NHL backups have minimal trade value — there are a ton of capable goaltenders over in Europe right now. Often, they come over to North America and immediately post incredible numbers. If I were an NHL GM, I’d never draft a goaltender, with the exception of those franchise-level talents that typically go within the first five picks.

Most teams have a goaltenders in Europe who could step in immediately at the backup level — we’ve seen Jussi Markkanen do it here in Edmonton, and I’m fairly sure that Bjorn Bjurling would be decent as a backup/AHL-level goalie if the Oilers system wasn’t already jammed.

There’s no upside to drafting and developing average goaltenders. They’re available as free agents (Mathieu Garon), for low cost in the trade market (Jason Labarbera) or off the waiver wire (Curtis Sanford). That’s a big part of the reason why I don’t understand the Oilers’ reluctance to waive Garon, or trade away Jeff Deslauriers. Do either offer anything not cheaply available on the free agent market, or in Europe, this summer?


  • Hippy

    @ Pokie Reddik:
    I love the people dispensing advice out to billionaire businessman Darryl Katz. Unless Wayne Gretz is Katz, its even dumber than blaming trades on mact

  • Hippy

    raged wrote:

    @ Pokie Reddik:
    I love the people dispensing advice out to billionaire businessman Darryl Katz. Unless Wayne Gretz is Katz, its even dumber than blaming trades on mact

    Like the Satan trade? Whitney? he can't coach offence plain and simple, Lowe will do what ever he can to keep this subpar coach

  • Hippy

    If I were an NHL GM, I’d never draft a goaltender, with the exception of those franchise-level talents that typically go within the first five picks.

    Well Im glad I was able to convince someone!

  • Hippy

    @ Lofty:

    Who do you think decided to bench our MVP from last year and go with Roli this season?

    If the coach won't play a guy you've got 2 choices:

    1) Fire the coach (makes me laugh just thinking that might happen).

    2) Trade the player.

    I wonder how may other NHL clubs have traded the away their MVP from the previous season for a couple of AHL players and 4th round draft pick??

    Sounds like some good asset management to me?

  • Hippy

    Pokie Reddik wrote:

    Like the Satan trade? Whitney? he can’t coach offence plain and simple, Lowe will do what ever he can to keep this subpar coach

    That was Ron Low who was coaching Satan. Slats made the trade.

  • Hippy

    Kent W wrote:

    Well Im glad I was able to convince someone!

    I have to acknowledge what B.C.B said above – the occasional overage Euro picked with a late selection is a good idea too.

    Other than that, it's just too risky. If you have a second, you should put up the link to your excellent article on the subject.

  • Hippy

    rindog wrote:

    I wonder how may other NHL clubs have traded the away their MVP from the previous season for a couple of AHL players and 4th round draft pick??
    Sounds like some good asset management to me?

    Goalies go on hot streaks. They then come back to earth and suck. Theodore. Khabibulin. Gerber. It's not unusual. And in this case, we didn't end up with a 5 year, $30 million dollar extension. I would say we're luckier than Washington, Chicago or Ottawa.

  • Hippy

    What did you guys expect to get for Garon? This is a pretty solid trade IMO. Ryan Stone has potential and is young and Sabourin has a little NHL experience and will be good for the Falcons.

  • Hippy

    rindog wrote:

    I wonder how may other NHL clubs have traded the away their MVP

    Is this what Tambellini is supposed to say to the other GM. Well, he was our MVP last year…

  • Hippy

    Pokie Reddik wrote:

    Like the Satan trade? Whitney? he can’t coach offence plain and simple, Lowe will do what ever he can to keep this subpar coach

    He wasn't the coach when those two were here, Ron Lowe was the coach. You should get your facts straight.

    Ryan Stone is on a two-way deal that pays him 60,000 in the minors and just over $500,000 if he plays here.
    Sabourin is in the last year of a one-way deal that pays him just over $500,000.

    Sabourin has to clear waivers, while Stone doesn't. This is a trade more to help Springfield than the Oilers. It does free up a roster spot for the Oil, but I can't see them keeping Sabourin here. They have no loyalty to him, and there is no need to continue with the three-headed carousel.

    Don't expect Stone to be a saviour in the faceoff dot. HE has taken a grand total of five draws, winning three of them at the NHL level.

    He was a decent scorer his last year in Brandon racking up 99 points. His best stat might be his three playoff years in the AHL. He has played 44 games and tallied 11 goals and 33 points. He has some grit to his game, having 100 or more PIMs two of three years in the AHL.

    The big difference between him and Reddox is that he has size and some spunk to his game standing 6'2, 205.

    This trade doesn't help the Oilers on the ice at all, but it frees up a roster spot, likely keeping Brule here longer, and it will get Deslauriers some more playing time.

  • Hippy

    Pokie: How about doing the analysis of the trade rather then cmplaining about management? What do you think Garon was worth on the trade market? Does that jive with what goaltenders are being traded for in the last two years? What does MacT have to do with the return for a struggling Garon (I am not addressing his possible involvement in Garon's struggles)?

    If we can make Stone into a winger, then maybe he is worth something. A strong checking LW with some scoring touch sounds like a piece of the future to me. We need a strong winger since we don't have that many. How would Stone fit on the depth cart:
    LW RW
    Penner Hemsky
    Nilsson Cole
    Moreau Pisani
    Stortini
    Reddox

    Other then that we have a bunch of converted centers playing wing (Poo, Brule, Potulny, Schremp, etc . . .) Stone would be an addition to this growing trend. If stone is better at draws maybe he move up the depth chart at center, or maybe we convert him to LW. I know getting (drafting) the best player available is popular in the NHL, but could Tambo get us a left winger for the future?

  • Hippy

    Reading oilers posts makes me want to scream. If you guys are all so smrt, how come non of you are NHL GMs? We could have traded Garon for a bag of pucks and a used hockey stick and I would have stood up and cheered to see the demise of the three headed monster and yet so many of you lament. Who did you expect to get in return? Crosby? Come on, backup goalies are a dime a dozen right now and just the fact that we didn't have to waive him is good news. This helps Springfield and Edmonton and clears cap space. Now Deslaurier can get some starts. And Garon benched? Have you seen him play recently? Last nights effort aside, I can think of 3 games he played well (his first three) and downhill quick after that.
    Go ahead poke, my lips are stained from the coolaid, but come on, this is good news people.

  • Hippy

    A month ago many esteemed members of the nation were begging Tambellini to put one of our goalies on waivers… Instead we landed a prospect, a pick, and a depth goalie who WILL clear waivers… Why is it that many of you are saying we didn't get enough? I may be the king of negativity, but even I know this was a solid move. Garon wasn't going to sign here next year anyway.

  • Hippy

    Sabourin might not clear waivers today, seeing the Islander's just lost Dubielewicz to the Blue jackets. But who could see that one coming, since Standford cleared a couple days a go. Maybe Tambo should see if Sabourin could get another 4 round pick from the Isle.

  • Hippy

    I just spoke with Ryan Rishaug from TSN, and Sabourin is not coming here. They will try and trade him or put him on waivers and send him to the minors.

    Interesting side note, is that the Islanders just signed Wade Dubielewicz to a one-year deal, but he had to clear waivers, since he was playing in Europe, and the Blue Jackets claimed him.

    So now the Islanders are looking for a stop-gap goalie for the rest of the season, because Dipietro's knee keeps swelling up and they want him to take the rest of the year off.

    Would Sabourin be of interest to Garth Snow now? Perhaps. Either way Deslauriers is now the back up.

    Also on the Stone front, as Brule nears the 160 GP mark, if they don't want him to get to it, Stone is a player they could potentially shuttle back and forth in his place. Once Hemsky, Nilsson, Stortini and Pisani are back some bodies have to go and I'd suspect Brule will be one of them. Brule can only play four more games before he has to clear waivers.

  • Hippy

    B.C.B. wrote:

    Sabourin might not clear waivers today, seeing the Islander’s just lost Dubielewicz to the Blue jackets. But who could see that one coming, since Standford cleared a couple days a go. Maybe Tambo should see if Sabourin could get another 4 round pick from the Isle.

    Typing at the same time I guess..haha… You won't get a 4th rounder for Sabourin. The best would be a 7th I would suspect, considering Labarbera got that for the Kings and he was playing more than Sabourin.

  • Hippy

    @ Jason Gregor:
    "Once Hemsky, Nilsson, Stortini and Pisani are back some bodies have to go and I’d suspect Brule will be one of them. Brule can only play four more games before he has to clear waivers."

    Don't forget that JF Jacques takes a roster spot when he comes off the IR. He can go down for conditioning without clearing waivers, but he will still have to be on the Oiler's roster.

  • Hippy

    rindog wrote:

    I wonder how may other NHL clubs have traded the away their MVP from the previous season for a couple of AHL players and 4th round draft pick??

    Just to clarify Ales Hemsky wasn't traded and he was named their MVP last season. Garon only played in 47 games. He won 26 of them. Not close to being a team MVP. 10 of those wins came in the shootout. Yes he was stellar in the shootout, but his GAA (2.66) and save% (.913)were both decent, but ranked 25th and 17th respectively.

    I think you might be over blowing the value of Garon. But you wouldn't be the first Oiler fan to think the players are better than they actually are. Sorry, but that is a problem in this town from time-to-time.

    Garon is now on his 4th NHL team, and probably will sign with his 5th in the summer. That makes him a journeyman goaltender. He can be great for stretches, but he never has been able to maintain #1 status in his eight years in the NHL.

    In case you forgot who the other award winners for the Oilers last season:

    First year Oiler: Cogliano and Gagner
    D-Man of the year: Gilbert
    Defensive forward: Pisani
    Most Popular: Hemsky
    Unsung Hero: Staios

  • Hippy

    Darcy wrote:

    Don’t forget that JF Jacques takes a roster spot when he comes off the IR. He can go down for conditioning without clearing waivers, but he will still have to be on the Oiler’s roster.

    He won't be a factor until February, and late February at that. He is still a ways away from even considering body contact.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    Speaking of a different kind of inside information, I now have a 3-0 lead on Eklund. I made a couple fo bad bets, though; if Eklund does it again, I suggest a reader contest where we all submit lists, and at deadline time, the closest person gets a prize.

    I hope you beat him by 10…He is a joke…some of the writers on there are very good, while others have no access to the team and no real sources, so why anyone would believe a word of what they write amazes me. Since Jokinen and Gratton were both put on waivers, shouldn't you get 1/2 points for those…haha