A backyard find?

Aaron Sorochan’s name isn’t on the tip of anybody’s tongue when it comes to the Edmonton Oilers goaltending situation, but it looks from where I sit like he should at least be part of the discussion.

With the pecking order in the Oilers goal crease up in the air and unproven prospects — or is it suspects? — Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk at the front of the line, as of now, to take over from Dwayne Roloson, Sorochan is sitting right under the noses of Oilers management.

The homegrown stopper, a two-time CIS all-star who backstopped the Alberta Golden Bears to two national titles, has finished his studies at the University of Alberta and is looking for a place to play.

Besides, it’s not like the Oilers don’t know about the 25-year-old Sorochan — they invited him to camp a few years ago and even signed him to an amateur tryout contract in December 2007 to back up Mathieu Garon against New Jersey after Roloson was shelved by the flu.

So, with no Vezina Trophy candidates in the organizational fold, wouldn’t it make sense for the Oilers to take a second look and maybe invite Sorochan to training camp this fall?

I think it would.

Late bloomer

Sorochan is the epitome of a late-bloomer.

While it might be a stretch to compare Sorochan straight-up to Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins — Thomas was a ninth-round selection of Quebec in 1994 and rattled around the pros for more than a decade before grabbing the starting job in Beantown — there are similarities.

Sorochan wasn’t even drafted after three lousy seasons in the WHL with the Prince Albert Raiders.

In 2000-01 with Prince Albert, he was 4-12-0 with a swollen 5.26 goals-against average and .870 saves percentage. In 2001-02, he was 12-20-1 with a 4.50 and .875. In this third season with Prince Albert, 2002-03, Sorochan was 15-27-2 with 3.64 and .877. Thanks for coming.

By the time Sorochan got it together with the Vancouver Giants in 2003-04, going 23-14-7 with a 2.37 GAA and .919 saves percentage, and Lethbridge in 2004-05, posting a 35-19-8 record with a 2.19 and .917, it was Alberta, not a line-up of NHL teams, who showed the most interest.

Now’s the time

Suffice to say, Sorochan blossomed with the Bears. After four years at Alberta, a tenure including CIS rookie of the year honors, the two all-star selections and two national titles, Sorochan is ready to move on.

Sorochan finished the 2008-09 CIS season with a 23-6-0 record, a 2.03 GAA and a .922 save percentage. He led the CIS in GAA and save percentage and finished his career at Alberta with a record of 97-27-2 in 130 games. What’s not to like?

Obviously, GM Steve Tambellini has more pressing matters on his plate than adding Sorochan to his goaltending mix — I wonder if fired Calgary hard case Mike Keenan gets a job interview? — but it’s worth contemplating.

Now, having tried to find out what’s up with the coaching situation, I know nobody is talking. Fine. But, with a potential gem like Sorochan sitting in the shadows of Rexall Place and looking for a gig, here’s hoping somebody with a say in the training camp roster is listening.

— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

  • Robin Brownlee

    J-Bird wrote:

    And we’re talking about a 25 year old CIS goalie, making rediculous comparison’s to Tim Thomas? Come on.

    Too slow a news day? Look somewhere else then and spare us the drive-by crap.

    Read the reference to Thomas again (and learn how to spell ridiculous while you're at it) before running your yap.

  • Hemmertime

    Robin Brownlee wrote:

    You are a genius. You called the Keenan shot. Too bad he’d be a horrific mismatch here. Luckily, there’s zero chance Keenan gets a sniff.

    lol ouch. Torn a new one from someone who looks like the BTK killer.

    Seriously though, hes not as successful as Crow, but there is a good reason he has coached 22/25 years in the NHL (and didnt he have cancer or something that stopped him for the 2 he didnt consecutively, I may be wrong but that rings a bell). He plays a tough system, and is notorious for being a hard arse which isn't a bad thing to me. I agree he isnt likely considered for too long, but I wouldn't use the word luckily, or consider him any more of a mismatch than MacT's style would be, except he'd have the bawls to get people buying into his system

  • Robin Brownlee

    @ Hemmertime:

    Keenan has never known how to handle young players and that's why he's a mismatch here. The vets might love him, but younger players would have a difficult time.
    I've heard enough stories first-hand from players to know Keenan wouldn't help a room inhabited by the likes of Gagner, Cogliano, O'Sullivan etc.

  • Robin Brownlee

    Hemmertime wrote:

    lol ouch. Torn a new one from someone who looks like the BTK killer.

    God Almighty, do I look that old, that bald and that crazy? Say it ain't so . . .

  • Hemmertime

    Robin Brownlee wrote:

    God Almighty, do I look that old, that bald and that crazy? Say it ain’t so . . .

    lol I stole that from a friend that saw ON for first time this weekend, he saw your Pic and thought you used the BTK pic for profile and that was twisted and I laughed my ass off

  • J-Bird

    Robin Brownlee wrote:

    Too slow a news day? Look somewhere else then and spare us the drive-by crap.
    Read the reference to Thomas again (and learn how to spell ridiculous while you’re at it) before running your yap.

    Well aren't we snarky today. 🙂

    In any event, way down the list of priorities right now and I doubt he's gonna get a shot at the AHL team.

    The thing I'll say about any goalie of the Bears is simply that the Bears are consistantly one of the best teams in the CIS, and I'd atribute stellar goaltending stats moreso to the team in front of him, not the other way around.

    My speellling is fine thanks. 😉

  • roger

    hey robin i know we are going into a slow news season for the oil. i was wondering if you could give us some personal stories like the tidbits about ulanov and mironov in some of your recent colums. i know you can't give us the dirt and thats cool some of the vanilla stories can be just as interesting.

  • Robin Brownlee

    J-Bird wrote:
    My speellling is fine thanks.

    No it's not, you f*cked up comparisons as well with "comparison's." And that's not spelling, that's dumb-ass-didn't-pay-attention-in-school-illiterate.
    Of course, this isn't English Nation, but when you come in flapping your jaw like you did and leave the door open, well, you've got to know I'm going to walk through it and give you a kick in the grammar pills. Nothing personal.

    By the way, why do nerds use the term "snarky" and use those I'm-socially-retarded happy faces in their copy? Are you Dennis King? When I read snarky and see happy faces I expect to read nerd-speak like: "plays the toughs" and "does the heavy lifting" and "butter-soft minutes." You're just pretending to be a nerd, aren't you?

    Anyway, there's no question the Oilers future doesn't pivot on what happens with Sorochan, so no quibble with that observation. And, really, there's no question he's a longshot.
    Still, I see him as a diamond in the rough and one that's right under the Oilers noses. He could be a nice local story down the road, that's all. And I bet he does get invited to Oilers camp.
    Until we get some action on the coaching front, you're going to see little sidebar items like Sorochan.

    roger wrote:

    hey robin i know we are going into a slow news season for the oil. i was wondering if you could give us some personal stories like the tidbits about ulanov and mironov in some of your recent colums. i know you can’t give us the dirt and thats cool some of the vanilla stories can be just as interesting.

    Sorry, J-Bird has ruined it for everybody by running his mouth about the Sorochan story being a waste of space.
    There's no way I'll risk such scathing criticism again by talking about the time I was making my way back to my hotel room at the Pan Pacific in Vancouver in the wee hours with a young lady I'd met and we bumped into Raffi Torres and . . .
    But noooooooooo, J-Bird had to ruin it . . .

  • Clarkenstein

    J-Bird wrote:

    Slow news day in Oilerville when folks are sittin around argueing about whether a 25 year old CIS goalie is in the future plans of the Oilers, and where he’d land on the farm.
    Certainly this is WAY down the list isn’t it? I mean there’s no starting goalie, no head coach yet, lots of salary to shed, some contract to move or eat, etc. And we’re talking about a 25 year old CIS goalie, making rediculous comparison’s to Tim Thomas? Come on.
    The CIS is what it is. A high level of hockey, played by (in the west anyways) a bunch of WHLers who didn’t get drafted or signed to move on to the AHL or other levels of “pro” hockey. The NHL dream is over for 99.9999999% of them.
    Next….

  • Clarkenstein

    I agree J-Bird… they are playing for the Holy Grail with our noses pressed up against the glass… again… and this is what people in E-town are talking about!! Further proof where Kevin Lowe has taken this organization.