Goalie prospect Matt O’Connor completing his NHL tour in NYC with NYR. Down to NYR, Ott, Edmtn and Van. Decision expected within a week.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 29, 2015
For the Edmonton Oilers, acquiring a player like Matt O’Connor would be a pretty big deal. The organization badly needs to improve up the middle and acquiring an advanced prospect like O’Connor offers cover for procurement mistakes of the past. If the Oilers get O’Connor, how much of a difference will it make?
If Edmonton wins the O’Connor sweepstakes, they’re well on their way to a successful off-season at the position. The Oilers have Laurent Brossoit in the AHL and Ben Scrivens under contract in the NHL. If they choose to retain Scrivens as their backup in Edmonton—a reasonable bet based on his resume before last season—the way would be clear to sign a veteran UFA (Michal Neuvirth or Antti Niemi) or trade for a veteran starter (Craig Anderson, Jimmy Howard).
Is a depth chart of Craig Anderson—Ben Scrivens—Laurent Brossoit—Matt O’Connor reasonable? I think it’s better, especially in terms of a proven No. 1. Just as intriguing, there are now two viable candidates for ‘next man up’ and a healthy competition in that area.
When was the last time Edmonton had four goalies with that kind of potential?
I totally get that Ben Scrivens may not be the most popular choice for backup goalie next season, but he is signed and for me there are other players who are better buyout candidates.
Interesting stuff from Todd Reynolds on Matt O’Connor. Very open to being in AHL next year. “He’s not looking for a team that’s desperate.”
— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) April 29, 2015
FEWER PICKS SPENT ON GOALIES
For several seasons now, Edmonton has struggled to find a goalie in the draft. Whatever magic is involved in identifying goalies, the Oilers don’t have the booklet and did not get the memo. Perhaps the high-water mark for humor in this area came last season, when Edmonton—with only six picks—spent two on goaltenders. Both goalies went the wrong way in the season AFTER Edmonton drafted them.
It is not an area of strength.
Signing O’Connor means the team is free to make bets on defensemen, centers and wingers and they are more successful historically in those areas. O’Connor could help the team in that area, too.
Quite sure the Senators told free agent BU prospect Matt O’Connor the org would be trading a goalie in the future to clear room for him.
— Wayne Scanlan (@HockeyScanner) April 24, 2015
O’Connor will make his decision in the next few days and there are some nice fits for him in the group that includes Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver and New York.