Khabibulin Out, Danis In

The Edmonton Oilers have recalled American Hockey League goaltender Yann Danis after Nikolai Khabibulin suffered a groin injury in last night’s contest against the Vancouver Canucks.

According to the Oilers official Twitter feed, Khabibulin, who left last night’s game after the first period, suffered a groin injury and will be out of the lineup seven to 10 days.

The timing of the injury is interesting, and may have some impact on the Oilers at the February 27 NHL Trade Deadline. While Steve Tambellini has publically suggested that he has no plans to move Khabibulin, various NHL Insiders felt that the veteran goaltender could have real value at the deadline.

The good news is that Khabibulin’s injury doesn’t seem serious, but given his track record since the lockout any injury has to be something of a concern and one imagines that this one nicks his value a little bit.

Also according to the Oilers’ Twitter feed, Yann Danis is on the way up to the big club. The last time the Oilers found themselves in this situation, it was Martin Gerber coming up from the farm. Like Gerber, Danis is a veteran goalie with NHL experience (most recently in New Jersey in 2009-10, where he posted a 0.923 SV% in 12 games) and if Tom Renney holds true to his previous work we’re likely to see Danis get at least one start during his time with the team. The Oilers play five games over the next 10 days.

Danis is having a very strong year in Oklahoma City, and his 0.926 SV% is a big part of the reason the Barons are performing so well. This call-up, despite coming as a result of injury, is a nice reward for good work and Danis’ history suggests that there will be no drop-off for the Oilers with him between the pipes. It’s even possible that Danis – as Gerber did last season – will outperform the Khabibulin/Dubnyk duo during his time with the team.

    • justDOit

      I really doubt that Danis has ever played behind a team as defensively porous as this Oilers team is, especially with their play of late. I don’t think that any goalie, short of Hasek’s likeness painted on a sheet of plywood, will help much.

      • You may have missed the picture above, but Danis posted a 0.910 SV% over 31 games with the 2009-10 New York Islanders, a team that went 26-47-9.

        Those Islanders used 12 different defensemen over the course of the season, with Radek Martinek (when healthy) their top even-strength option.

        So, yes, I’d say Danis is familiar with what a porous NHL defense looks like.

        • justDOit

          I stand corrected – which is something I usually say to my chiropractor.

          So he has experienced the worst of the worst in NHL defence, and their record shows that he didn’t make much, if any, difference in the standings. To say that he’s going to make a ‘big difference’ to the Oilers is laughable – or maybe that was the point? Laughter?

          • O.C.

            Why all the hate?

            I have seen him play. Live too.

            He doesnt have this funny habit of giving up the big ugly goal at the wrong time that sucks the wind out of the momentum.

            He does make that save where the bench goes wow, and ramps it up.

            Then again if you think the Oil don’t need that or already have that this year, then you are right, there is no difference.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Let Danis start his first game and keep running him out if he plays well. He’s only 31 and it’s not like we can afford to overlook any possible solutions in net.

  • Slapshot

    Leave it to Tambellini (mr Dithers) to do nothing and again it will cost us.If he had a team interested in Khabibulin and didnt pull the trigger, he should be fired.The same can be said about Hemsky, Tambellini should either sign Hemsky to an extension or trade him already, he is one hit away from us getting nothing, then what is Mr Dithers going to do? or is that his plan? what did we end up getting for Souray after he broke his hand in Calgary, just before the trade deadline a few years ago? One of the reasons the Oilers are in this mess is because of this management team and coaching staff.

  • D'oh-ilers

    If they’re bringing him up, they might as well play him. He’s been outstanding in OKC. Give him the next start and see how he does. It’s not like he can be any more inconsistent than Dubnyk or Khabi have been this year.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    With the No.1 goaltender out of the picture for the next week or so…29th place is all but sewn up now with 30th also in our sights now. Two AHL goaltenders left to hold the fort, it doesn’t get any better than that for us tanker types.

  • HK Oil Change

    I don’t understand it. Gerber played very well in his few games with the Oil and he was let go at the end of the season. Danis showed that he could maintain on a horrible islander team. Why are these guys not getting a longer cup of coffee. Their stats are better than our regulars.

  • vetinari

    I agree that Danis should get a shot at running with the starter’s job.

    I know that almost everyone (myself included) was excited when Khabi and Dubs put up amazing numbers in October but when they crashed back to earth, they crashed hard and it was demoralizing to watch some of the soft goals that would go by them… and it’s stayed the way for months. When a goalie gives you four good games and then a bad one, that’s fine and workable. When a goalie gives you 45 minutes of good goaltending, 10 minutes of almost average goaltending and 5 minutes of “what-the-heck-was-that???” goaltending, that’s Oilers goaltending.

    I thought Gerber warranted a longer look last year and I think Danis should be given 3 or 4 games to show us what he has, unless Khabi recovers enough before the deadline to start a game and be shopped.

    I look at Khabi’s contract (too long), Brule’s and Souray’s contracts (too much), and Horcoff’s contract (the granddaddy of too much, for too long, and with too many restictive clauses), and wonder, who’s handing out these deals? I don’t fault the players for taking the money; I fault management and professional scouting for failing to identify the market value of professional players and their projected roles on the team.