Missing out on goaltenders

One by one, the top free agent goaltenders in Europe and out of college hockey have made decisions about their NHL future. So far, none of them has opted for the Edmonton Oilers, a team desperately in need of rebuilding their depth chart in net, and one that was optimistic earlier in the summer about attracting somebody like Antti Raanta (pictured above; ended up in Chicago).

Where does Edmonton go now?

Number Two

With Nikolai Khabibulin on the way out of town – and given his injury history that is without question the right decision – the Oilers options are limited to trade or NHL free agency.

In trade, we’ve previously looked at the Anaheim Ducks as a possible target, and they very much remain one. Frederik Andersen is a player who has youth, size and a sterling track record on his side – last season he was a 0.929 save percentage goalie in the AHL; the year prior he managed a 0.943 save percentage in Sweden. Blocked on the depth chart by Viktor Fasth and Jonas Hiller, and with highly-touted John Gibson the team’s probable goalie of the future, Andersen is a player who could be a very good fit as Edmonton’s backup.

In free agency, there are a number of solid veteran options (we’ve considered those previously, too). Ray Emery, Jose Theodore and Jason Labarbera are the three that strike me as the best potential fits/most likely to be available for the Oilers, but there are others. There are also less experienced options. Commonly mentioned are Boston’s Anton Khudobin, who could be a good fit because he’s been good both in limited NHL minutes and in longer stints in Europe and the minors. Also commonly mentioned is Thomas Greiss, who has been good in limited NHL minutes, but has been much less impressive in the minors and Europe.

Number Three

Yann Danis didn’t have a very good year, but realistically he’s the class of player the Oilers are likely looking at for the number three role, unless they manage to steal a not quite NHL ready prospect from another organization.

Personally, given the choice between another journeyman AHL netminder and Danis, I’d likely stick with the incumbent. His longer track record is excellent (he was the AHL’s goalie of the year last season) and he rebounded in the playoffs after a poor regular season. Unless there’s something that hasn’t been publicized that gives the team reason for concern, simply switching to a different AHL veteran seems unlikely to gain the Oilers much.

The exception would be if the Oilers see an AHL veteran that they feel has NHL potential, something that seems unlikely – looking at the AHL goaltending list, there aren’t a lot of non-prospect types that jump out as future NHL’ers. There’s also the possibility of adding a lower-tier European – such as Bernhard Starkbaum – though it’s debatable how much of an upgrade that is.

Recently around the Nation Network

At Canucks Army, Jeff Angus looks at Diamond in the Rough Free Agents (Forwards). While it’s written from a Vancouver perspective, every team in the league would like to find an unheralded free agent who knocks it out of the park for them. Is there a player on this list that qualifies?:

Click the link to read more, or alternately, feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    i’m still pissed the Oilers didn’t take John Gibson when they had a chance at #31 in 2011. Gibson will turn 20 in July and will be playing in the AHL, so i a couple of years, if things don’t work out with Dubnyk, Gibson could perhaps be ready to go? i like the Musil pick but i think the Oilers missed a golden opportunity to take the best goalie in the 2011 draft !

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Hilariously interesting:

    The likely rationale for the hiring of Tortorella is that he is the man who can whip stronger performances from a veteran team, led by the Sedin twins, who turn 33 in September. Tortorella, beyond his bluster, has, like Vigneault, demonstrated innovative thinking, such as deploying players aggressively in the offensive or defensive zones to achieve better results. That said, Vancouver and New York had similar problems in the shortened 2013 season, such as weak power plays.

    The Tortorella decision was likely influenced by the Canucks owner, billionaire Francesco Aquilini. He is, in general, active with the team throughout the year, in constant contact with Gillis several times a day, though the owner generally leaves his president to run the team. This time, however, Aquilini is believed to have played an active role in the interviewing and hiring of the coach, a result of the disappointment of watching his large investment in the team result in nothing.

    Aquilini has always provided Gillis the millions to spend right to the salary cap and also much more to provide additional assets such as a posh locker room and team facilities at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, as well as a sleep doctor and a troupe of other specialists. It is unclear whether Tortorella is interested in seeing his players have yoga sessions among their fitness routines, a staple of recent years.

    Aquilini has a reputation for emotional, at times petulant, outbursts – particularly well-known for his upset and anger at reporters in the Canucks locker room after his team collapsed in Game 7 of the Stanely Cup final two years ago and lost 4-0 to Boston. Vigneault’s relatively mild manner was not in sync with Aquilini. Vigneault would often leave it to his players to hash out problems in between periods in games in which the team had problems.


  • “Diamond in the Rough” post is really the poo poo platter in disguise.

    So AV (great guy btw) gets fired in Vanc. because his team can’t score in the playoffs and lands a 5 yr gig in NY where they fired Torts…because his team couldn’t score in the playoffs. Gillis whiffs on Eakins and Ruff because he’s been interviewing everyone who’s coached higher than bantam and ends up hiring Torts – whose teams can’t score in the playoffs and is the most media bombastic coach in the NHL to lead the club in a town where the media and fans are more or less the same as those in Leafville.

    As an Oiler fan living in Vancouver this is a fantastic day. Never mind than the sun just came out for the first time since Tuesday…and it’s the first day of summer. Awesome!

  • a lg dubl dubl

    DD will be fine, will he be a vezina winner, maybe maybe not. Im of the opinion that MacT should get a goalie that has more games under his belt than a guy who has less than 150 games.

    The problem was with the D

  • a lg dubl dubl

    3 deals I would love to see :7th pick ,petry for Letang, Anaheim 2nd rounder(cogliano) for clutterbuck ,and hemsky and 4th rounder to leafs for Frattin and scrivens.

  • Czar

    I think Dubby is going to be fine for us. He has lots of quality support, I would like to see us bring in a back-up for him that has a much different body type and style contrast.

    We can let go of the burp we saw last year with the midrange wristers , goalies league wide are being hit with new shooting tactics and are being exposed repeatedly. It is a Retro-craze, pretty soon d-men will be forced to stop the transition game by stepping up or the Tactical Shooting programs will keep ripping even All-Star tenders to pieces. There is a devious plan behind this evolution, Bah ha ha ha.

    People are Yapping about the Hawks goaltenders glovehand side but are failing to mention the Blocker side the Hawks scorched for Boston. Both teams are using Tactical shooting Programs and are focusing on one spot for 60 minutes, they are changing the odds so to speak for themselves. Every punch is landing in the same spot. This is an easy tactic to stop, its just a recent innovation to some teams, it is a natural fit for a possesion/transition style. The simple method of stopping this tactic is intellectual property, I hope Chicago can figure it out because the only thing keeping Boston in it now is the Tactical Shooting Program they also use, it isnt enough if the Hawks can shut it down then the ice tilts epiclly. It is the ONE optimal adjustment that will win the game for whoever does this. Stop the TSP for 60m mins , impose it on your opponent and you win the Stanley Cup.

    I say the final is 6-2 Hawks, Penaltys kill Boston, few but impactfull penaltys. Chara will be on the ice for 4 goals against.
    High sticking penaltys will decide the game, its a bad day to be tall and lanky, especially in games as tough as this when everyone is giving 100%, just draw a drop of blood on a little feller and you are done like dinner, redfs the color in a game #7, you can get a stick broken over your face but if there is no blood there is no penalty. I see a 4 minute stick foul on Boston and a critical puck shot over the glass by Boston Player creating a delay of game foul, I am seeing Seguin as being guilty for some reason.

    People have correctly identified a gap in our goaltending progression.

    Who says we cant use a 3 goalie system? It has worked in the past. Olivier Roy may be young but he sure brings us the style contrast we need AND SOME COMPETITIVE FIRE. The only way to bridge the gap we created in our goalie pipeline is to bring someone right in under a little fire, if we keep Khabby there will be no chance of scorching a young hand.

    I would rather bring someone up from OKC than trade for anyone unless its a blockbuster upgrade on our starter.

    Wouldnt it be nice to see Olivier Roy come in for a look see and get the chance to run with his wins if he can string some together? You know like NOT just give him ONE game to rest Dubby, but give him one and a free ticket to the next one if he can find a W.

    Has anyone considered doing a Game Day Blog for the Big Game tomorrow?

  • Chris.

    “Spinning wheels got to go round “, I believe by Blood , Sweat and Tears. I suppose that aptly describes management approach to fixing our problems . Same caste operating the merry go round ? Culture changes with winning . I don’t feel GM brow beating players in public is of positive value ,that’s old school and most find it a negative way to motivate .

  • Spydyr

    We dont need a new goalie.

    Pay attention to Doug Weights game commentary as compared to the rest of the Panel he works with. They are all trying to analyse how and why the Hawks glove side is being exploited, failing to mention the Bruins Blocker side is being ripped up in an identical tactical manner. There is an easy way to teach the fans what is being done out there, isnt that an Analysts job?

    Both the Hawks and the Bruins are using this NewAge Hockey System catalysed Tactical Shooting Program exactly the same ways LA used it last year. This is documented fact and should be easily verified by a Media group with resources.

    The Tactical Shooting Program is a specific original tactic and commentators can use my unique NHS terminology, it will make their jobs easier. Pay attention to Doug Weight more, he is so in tune and dialed in right now with the NHS and the changing pulse of the NHL game, he is full of perfect contextual references and has been leading the commentary every night because of it. He has been holding back a lot, ha ha ha, smart man, he has been making a Plan of his own ever since he watched LA use the NHS to win a Cup using a Tacticl Shooting program and IDENTIFIED and accepted that this was really what was happening.

    He is ballsy enough to be skirting the issues on air constantly, I wonder why he doesnt just ask for the full NHS? Hey Doug The Slug, I can feel your energy and I hear pure NHS philosophy in nearly everything you are saying when you let your guard down, I am an Intuit Pal. I am not adding anything more NHS related online or posting long detailed explanations, that data is now being treated as Intellectual Property, come get some. You are as Hyper as I am, ha ha ha ha, for real.

    You cant self-analyse but Dougie my friend on the air you sometimes jump three thoughts ahead of everyone because you are thinking your NHS dynamic template perspective and concepts, it is leaking through and you are warping ahead of everyone without being able to help it, and I chuckle.

    You will never get your peers on your page unless they learn the NHS terminology like you have, which is as unique as the Philosophies, ha ha ha. Yes my friend once those unique terms hit the mainstream media airwaves there is no going back is there? As planned. It is nearly impossible to keep people on the right page without the NHSs Dynamic terminology isnt it? Conventional hockey explanations dont cut the Mustard do they? Just give it up to Moma2 already, jeepers, why so serious.

    If I listed specific terms and contextual usage of specific words it would be laughable at how much of the NHSs Dynamic Intuitive influence is simmering all around the analysis you guys are providing, everyone is being forced to lean towards the most correct and optimal terminologys staying as traditional as they can but slowly transitioning to superior dynamic NHS terminology, word by bloody word, unique terminology undeniably original to the NHS.

    Your panel has tried expaining what the teams are doing to the Goaltenders on the ice without using the term Tactical Shooting Program? Why not consider simply explaining how and why the Blocker and Glove sides were exploited in exactly the same way using exactly the same NAMED NHS Tactical Shooting Program which is initiated in an unconventional dynamic possesion/transition based manner related to the NHSs influences on the Adjusted-Hybrid.

    Maybe do a comparative Analysis to last years identical damage LA caused to Goalies all the way to the Cup, teach the fans already fellas. Instead of beating around the bush.

    OilersNation seems to be the only current source of NHS data online, seems natural to reference people to the source doesnt it?

    It isnt against the law to name an online poster either , all Major Media outlets give credit to posters via their online moniker so feel free to toss the name Moma2s NewAge Hockey System around as well. Its coming out sooner than later believe me, take a risk what do you have to lose? Break the story open already, it is a pre-determined eventuality that it is forthcoming, why wait, there is no tactical advantage to suppressing the data already posted online for everyone, the Tactical Shooting Program is an unique, original, and documented NHS tactic fully explained online many times, just never formally aknowledged and credited by Name. Its online introduction coincided exactly with LAs implementation and success ,all fully documentable facts for a media outlet to verify and illustrate. After LA other teams also embraced the NHS tactic. The rest of the story we need to wait to see, it is called dynamic league evolution.

    Anyone who bothers to read NewAgeSys posts will instantly recognise the terminologys and words creeping into the analysts commentary between periods and on pre-game shows, especially Dougie Weights perspective, he sounds like an Intuit to me.

    Resistance is Futile. You will be Assimilated