The moves this summer by Peter Chiarelli (is he done?) offer us insight into the mindset of management and new coach Todd McLellan. When a new GM and coach arrive, and follow up with massive additions ‘up the middle’ it shows what caught their eye in regard to the weakness of last year’s crew. It’s one thing to send a distant bell to the ‘Hawks for a possible backup goalie, but are the Oilers seriously considering running an inexperienced goalie combination? Or will he ADD an experienced hand to the four men already heading to camp?
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?
In terms of NHL games, the Edmonton Oilers are sadly lacking in experienced stoppers:
- Ben Scrivens 129
- Cam Talbot 57
- Anders Nilsson 23
- Laurent Brossoit 1
Chiarelli acquired Nilsson in an effort to increase competition but NHL history suggests the play—if the team wants to step away from Ben Scrivens—is to acquire an experienced backup.
LIKE PETER BUDAJ?
Goaltender Peter Budaj will attend #LAKings training camp on a PTO, hockey ops confirms.
— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) August 28, 2015
Yes! Like Peter Budaj. NHL teams have been doing this kind of thing forever, bringing in older vets who can’t find a contract and allowing them to showcase their skills. I’m aware of two goalies who have accepted invites to training camp. Source
The list of unsigned goalies (Jonas Gustavsson!!!) isn’t exactly inspiring but there are always logjams and waivers that come every fall. In Los Angeles, if Budaj thrives that may mean the Kings have to decide between Budaj and Jhonas Enroth at the end of camp.
WHAT IF EDMONTON’S GOALIES DO WELL?
It’s also true that if both Scrivens and Nilsson thrive in pre-season, Edmonton may have an opportunity to offload Scrivens to a team looking for a more experienced backup:
Kirk Luedeke on possible backups in Boston: I think (Jeremy) Smith makes the most sense as B’s backup as of July 31, but I
still think the team will look to add someone with more of an NHL body
of work, either as a bargain bin signing or training camp invite with
the option to sign before the season if the coaches feel good about him.
Who that is at this point is anyone’s guess- I thought Jason LaBarbera
would be someone to fit the bill, but the best of the free agents are
gone, so the team might just feel like going with Smith or one of the
other kids depending on things go at camp and preseason is the best
There isn’t a lot out there but once camps start and the games begin to showcase the talent, the Oilers could find themselves either scrambling for additional help or deciding which backup to deal.
Goalies are voodoo.