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).

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:

  • 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

    TW doesn't agree with this trade. TW thinks that MacTavish should have been the first to go. This club is in a lot of trouble and it is only going to get worse. Rolison on a young team with MacTavish is not going to work. time for a new team. say Calgary?

  • Hippy

    As I stated before it's a cap world, so it is really hard to pull off blockbuster trades. We have to slowly plug holes, and that means from the bottom up, because Springfield needs our help as much as we need them to be a qaulity developmental team. So again, nice trade Tambo.

  • Hippy

    I agree with you guys on the return, not bad, considering what LA got, but the motivation for it? Sure JDD can officially be our number 2, but Roli has looked worn out his last few starts. I would have kept Garon this season, and let him go for nothing in the summer. We needed him more than we need Stone. If JDD can step up were fine though

  • Hippy

    Considering what Huet went for last year at the deadline this is steal of a deal for Tambilini.

    Ryan Stone is a quality player. He was drafted 32 over all in 2003 which was a deep draft. He's 23. Scores, is a plus player and puts up penalty mins.

    He's a tougher version of Brodziak, With the signing of Staal in Pittsburgh they are WAY deep at center, so Stone had no where to move up.

    great trade, I just hope that means Sabourin is being sent down.

    These two guys should help the Falcons immensely, and from Willis's earlier article about Springfield, they need all the help they can get.

  • Hippy

    You have to assume that Dany can be sent to the minors, or they wouldn't have made the deal. Good return for Garon, I didn't expect that much.

    In the cap world, it's good to have a ll the picks you can, even though it's hit or miss with late rounds. More picks mean a better chance at getting a winner.,

  • Hippy

    I can't believe some on here are upset with the return. Why would you think trading Garon, someone who played barely 10 games this year, would achieve more than AHL help or a 4th liner???? I think the return is very good, considering.

    We solved the 3 goalie situation, finally. What more would you want out of that trade?

  • Hippy

    This is a first step. Get rid of the three headed monster, and find a AHL goaltender to help out Dubnyck. It clears up a roster space, which will be need for Brule when Hemsky and Pisani come back and Brule has played past his no waive elegibility.

    Garon is not the goal tender of the future here. Maybe Tambo will look to Russia or Sweden in the off season.

    Jonathon: I disagree with you about not drafting goaltenders. We should draft Euro tenders with late round draft picks and stop wasting high first and low seconds on them.

  • Hippy

    @ NoPantsTuesday:

    exactly what did you think Garon was going to be traded for? I am flat out shocked with the return. Considering LaBarbera got a 7th, Sanford and Gerber were waived, and Columbus couldn't find a taker for Norrena so he went to Europe.

  • Hippy

    I am amazed they got anything for Garon…let alone 2 players and a 4th. Please for the love of all that is sane tell me Sabourin can be sent to the minors. What kind of player is Stone? is he anything other than Springfield material?

  • Hippy

    "That’s a big part of the reason why I don’t understand the Oilers’ reluctance to waive Garon, or trade away Jeff Deslauriers."

    It's because the Oilers' management hasn't had a clue what it's doing since 2006.