The Edmonton Oilers goaltenders have been in the news plenty this season, mostly for the wrong reasons. With Devan Dubnyk righting the ship in the last two starts, this is a good time to review the group and see if there are good arrows bubbling under.
THE EDMONTON OILERS GOALIE DEPTH CHART
- Devan Dubnyk 6, 4.19 .877. You should have seen the numbers a few days ago! Dubnyk had an incredibly poor start to the season, but has turned it around in the last two games. Coach Dallas Eakins gave DD big credit for the Ottawa win, and if they club gets consistent goaltending from the big man it should be a good season in Edmonton.
- Jason LaBarbera 4, 3.22 .871. LaBarbera got the club’s first win of the season but has been well below average so far this year. Like Dubnyk, if he returns to previous levels the club should be fine at the NHL level.
- Richard Bachman (AHL) 6, 1.99 .934. Veteran goalie has been very good for the Barons, especially in the first week when the club had a terrible time scoring goals. I think he’s a reasonable AHL #1/callup, on par with last year’s version (Yann Danis).
- Olivier Roy (AHL) 1, 2.00 .933. One game isn’t much, but he played very well and is clearly the #1 prospect in the system at this time. When MacT talks about improving organizational depth, I think Roy is the one goalie prospect who will probably survive the purge.
- Tyler Bunz (ECHL) 1, 0.92 .957. Bunz had such a tough season in 12-13 he’s going to need to have an outstanding year to regain his prospect status. A nice start, though.
- Ty Rimmer (CHL) 1, 5.02 .833. Signed to an AHL contract, Rimmer impressed in training camp and hasn’t seen much action so far this season in Quad City.
- Frans Tuohimaa (SML) 7, 2.44 .915. Finnish goalie has been signed by the organization and is having a good season in a co-starting role.
SHOPPING DOWN EVERY AISLE
It’s true the Oilers were looking around at their options (this was during the 4-game slide by Dubnyk) and if we believe Elliotte Friedman (and I do) this was more than a quick phonecall:
12. At this time last week, no doubt everyone thought Edmonton was going to make a goalie move. The Oilers didn’t for two reasons. First, they just didn’t believe what they could get would really solve their problems long-term. Brian Elliott and Jonas Hiller, for example, will be free agents with no guarantee of staying. Second, Devan Dubnyk finished strong last week, which is the easiest solution. It’s also very possible the organization believes team defence is more worrisome than goaltending.
I think the Oilers will be all over the free agent list this coming summer and if they could get a clear upgrade (Anderson in Ottawa, as an example) that might be a worthwhile move. The problem is asset cost–if you’re getting something with high value the value out in a trade could be breathtaking (other teams aren’t going to hand these guys over).
Best case scenario: Dubnyk has a terrific season and the club signs him to a long term deal. And that will give them time to find and develop a goaltender of the future.
The usual, draft, free agent signing or trade. The college goalie crop won’t declare until later in the year and the Euro goaltenders haven’t established themselves (beyond Mikko Koskinen, former Islander first round pick who is playing very well in the KHL–I think he’s still Islander property), but there’s a lot of blacktop left this season.
Bottom line: Those 7 names above are probably going to see significant turnover next summer.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
When it comes to masked men, you never know.