Dany Sabourin, the ex-Pittsburgh Penguins backup goaltender who Edmonton acquired last weekend as part of the deal that sent Mathieu Garon out of town, cleared waivers as of noon on Wednesday. The New York Islanders were expected to claim Sabourin after losing Wade Dubielewicz to Columbus, but instead opted to stand pat. Here is their current goaltending depth:
- Rick DiPietro – 1-3-0, 3.52 GAA, .892 SV% (out for season)
- Joey MacDonald – 11-21-4, 3.27 GAA, .900 SV% (out until mid-February)
- Yann Danis – 1-5-1, 3.19 GAA, .901 SV% (NHL)
7-3-0, 2.26 GAA, .924 SV% (AHL)
- Peter Mannino – 0-0-0, 13.81 GAA, .625 SV% (NHL)
9-10-2, 3.09 GAA, .895 SV% (AHL)
- Nathan Lawson – 10-2-0, 1.90 GAA, .933 SV% (AHL)
2-0-0, 2.28 GAA, .918 SV% (ECHL)
According to Newsday, the Islanders decision to pass on Sabourin was two-fold. First, MacDonald is progressing nicely in his recovery from a groin strain, and secondly, Yann Danis had a .929 SV% over the previous four games leading up to Wednesday. Lee Forman of Examiner.com adds somewhat cynically that there’s little point in the Islanders adding payroll when the team isn’t going anywhere regardless.
It makes sense for the Islanders to write this season off; little more than halfway through the schedule they’re already twenty points out of a playoff spot. It does speak to Garth Snow’s incompetence that he failed to address the goal-tending issue that emerged when DiPietro had problems early on; while the Islanders have other issues, intentionally running the vast majority of the season with a pair of AHL goaltenders would seem like an obvious problem.
Whatever the concerns are about his salary, the Oilers have yet to assign Sabourin to Springfield, which would be the obvious next move. Jim Matheson suggests that Sabourin’s contract, which would not count against the cap if he were to play in the NHL, would be a lot of money for an AHL goaltender (although they don’t seem to have a problem paying Mathieu Roy at a similar rate).
In any case, assigning Dany Sabourin to Springfield may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Oilers. Prior to sending Jeff Deslauriers to Springfield on a conditioning stint, Dubnyk had played all but three of Springfield’s games. Early on, Dubnyk was stellar, earning AHL Player of the Week honours at one point, but slumped after that. He’s looked better since taking a break while Deslauriers was in Springfield, and was named first star in his last game, stopping 33 of 34 shots en route to a 4-1 victory over Portland.
Jeff Truitt seems to have little confidence in Dubnyk’s current backup, 25-year-old Glenn Fisher. Fisher posted went 14-19-2 with a 3.36 GAA and .903 SV% for Stockton last season and was signed to an AHL-only contract this summer. As a result, Dubnyk may well be playing too many games, hurting his performance. Having an excellent AHL goalie to spell him in Dany Sabourin may help, rather than hinder his development.