Laurent Brossoit: Not a Bust

Laurent Brossoit is under a lot of pressure, it seems. 

The Edmonton Oilers have seen a rotating carousel of number one goaltenders over the last, oh, decade or so – and none of them have particularly worked out in the team’s favor. It seems, even, that the last few years have seen the team go through goaltenders faster than they’ve gone through head coaches. 

Think about it: name an Oilers goalie from the last five years who didn’t lose his starting gig to someone else at some point during the year to just try and salvage the team. 

That’s behind us, though.  

We aren’t here to talk about the ghosts of Oilers goalies past. 

We’re here to talk about Laurent Brossoit. 

Like I said, though, the kid’s under a lot of pressure. Cam Talbot is the team’s current Best Case ScenarioTM, but a growing number of voices seem to be ready for Brossoit to take over as a starter – if not now, then soon. 

Even those who aren’t ready to see him as a starter, though, seem worried. The team inked Jonas Gustavsson (a move I’ve… discussed) as a free agent to back up Talbot instead of letting Brossoit serve as a backup; does that mean that the former Calgary Flames prospect is yet another goaltending bust? 

Not quite. 

On the one hand…

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 8.13.51 AM

There are certain red flags that the Oilers need to be cognizant of when it comes to Brossoit, yes. I’m under no delusions that he’s so NHL-ready that he won’t have a learning curve when he hits the NHL. 

After all, we saw that last year; he did as well as any player could in his first two games behind the Edmonton defense, then the wheels kind of fell off and he struggled in some of his other limited appearances.

It’s hard to really gauge how a player will perform based on that small of a sample size, but being realistic, we have to assume that Brossoit runs the risk of suffering from the kinds of sustainability issues behind the Oilers that we saw last year. 

They were a bottom five team, but his poor games suggest could very well be a career backup. I’m willing to accept that as a more than reasonable expectation at this point. 

On the other hand, though…

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 8.14.07 AM

That doesn’t make him a bust. 

It’s hard to temper expectations with goaltenders and not only operate in extremes. It’s hard not to look at goaltenders as Carey Price or Bust, hard not to evaluate them as guys who can carry the team 72 games a season or Completely Worthless And Trash. 

Most goaltenders, actually, are going to fall right in the middle at their peak – which should come in the next handful of years for Brossoit. It’s entirely likely that we won’t truly know what he is for another season, and when we do, we’ll realize that he’s a 1A/B tandem or a backup. That’s what most goaltenders are, after all: that doesn’t make him a bust. 

So where does that leave us? 

NowWhat

 

Personally, I like Brossoit. I think he’s got a good, confident game (or at least, as confident as it can be behind the Oilers). His depth isn’t any kind of big concern, he doesn’t allow an obnoxious number of rebounds, and he’s got a solid tracking game. 

My biggest questions still come with his endurance – he can sometimes taper off in efficiency over a tough stretch – and I worry that he’s play better when given somewhere between 20-40 games a season, rather than 50-70. That doesn’t mean I dislike his game, it just means I don’t think he’s a true starter. 

(I could also be totally wrong, but he’s 23. By this point in his career, he – barring a major change in the goaltending coaching he’s receiving – is showing the bulk of his potential right now.)

Why would he still be in the AHL next year, then, if he doesn’t necessarily need more development? 

Simple – playing time. The Oilers probably hope that this year will be an improvement defensively for the NHL club, but there’s no guarantee. Based on that, it would be far more detrimental to his potential future as a sustainable NHLer for him to play 15 games in Edmonton behind a disaster of a blue line. 

He can always move up to the NHL level during the year if it helps the team and they seem ready for him. 

  • Cheap Shot Charlie

    It’s totally reasonable to think that if Talbot gets hurt that he’ll be called up and become the starter while Talbot is healing. If the Monster can be a solid back up I think Chiarelli made a good move.

    It’s also good to remember that most NHL goalies don’t really come into their own until they are 25-28. If Brossoit is playing (and killing it) in the AHL for the next 3 years I would say this would be the first example of the Oilers developing a player correctly.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    I can give you the exact number of times I thought to my self LB could be a bust:

    Zero.

    I’m less worried that he doesn’t pan out and more worried Vegas grabs him next June.

    • I am Batman

      This is the Oiler Las Vegas is taking.

      Not Davidson, not Reinhart is Broissot all the way, and to all the ones already in love with him , there’s nothing that can be done, he can’t be protected so, move on.

      • Cheap Shot Charlie

        You don’t think there are at least 3 goalie prospects in NHL organizations higher than Brossoit? I would suggest that you don’t have a good pulse on what the other teams are doing to stock their cupboards. LB is good, but not elite. I highly doubt he’ll be considered in the expansion draft.

      • Oilcounty88

        This is definitely not true. There a bunch of good goal-tending options for Vegas. Look at teams like the lightning who are gonna have to leave someone unprotected.

          • Moe Sizzlack

            Andersen is a leaf ain’t he ??

            Greiss/Halak

            Murray/Fleury

            Luongo/Reimer

            Mason/Neuvirth

            Bishop/Vaselevsky

            Mrazek/Howard

            Lehtonen/Niemi

            Miller/ Markstrom

            Is that Enuff to say our guys are safe or shall I keep goin ??

          • pkam

            You’re right, Andersen is no longer with the Ducks, but they acquire Jonathan Bernier. I think GMs still prefer one of John Gibson and Jonathan Bernier over Broissot.

            I don’t think teams will protect Fleury, Howard, Niemi and Miller unless their contacts carry a NMC.

        • I am Batman

          Yeah…. But there are no other oilers Las Vegas would want to take from what we assume will be unprotected.

          You are saying Las Vegas would rather pick Davidson or Reinhart before taking Broissot?

          Broissot will be the BPA for the oilers and I don’t even think he is good

    • Finnish Oiler fan in Edmonton89

      I honestly think Marc Andre Fleury will refuse to waive his no-move clause, from the way he has been talking it sounds like He wants to remain a penguin.

      If this remains the case until next year, Vegas will easily choose Matt Murray then probably sign a FA like Gustavssson as their backup

  • Spydyr

    Leave him in the AHL getting a bulk of the starts. He has to play to develop sitting on the end of the bench and playing once every ten days is not what he needs.

    It is not that difficult to see that but the Oilers have had a nasty habit of bringing players to the NHL far to early. I for one hope that will change soon.

  • freelancer

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone call Brossoit a bust. He had a few rough games last season but he is still very young and has plenty of time to develop.

    However I don’t think management did a good enough job to keep him down on the depth chart by bringing in Gustavson. I would have much rather them bring in a guy like Johnson or Enroth and ensure Brossoit plays the year in the AHL.

  • Serious Gord

    not a bust or a win. Far too early to even begin to judge.

    That there is even a discussion says a lot about how poor the oil draft record has been for more than a decade.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      ^exactly! Had the Oilers bothered to draft a few more goalies a little higher in the last few drafts, we might not be in this situation where we are putting all our marbles on LB.

  • DrDave

    Who cares??? Talbot is our starter and our last real starter since Roloson! If LB can beat out the monster for the back up spot and play in 12-15 games then great but its time to let the starter be the starter and give Cam 60+ games this year.

      • DrDave

        No, just that we have a 29 year old goalie in the prime of his career and if we ever want to contend we let him play. Let LB be the best goalie in the AHL this year, theres no need to rush him. We could have 5-6 years of very good goaltending right in front of us, stop looking behind for the answers. Talbot is the answer.

  • Spydyr

    If the question is which Oiler goalie played so inconsistent for months at a time that he lost his starting job for a while. Then yes “Talbot is the answer.”

    I would have much preferred a stronger option to back him up going into next season.

  • vetinari

    On the Las Vegas expansion goalie selections– Based on watching how other expansion teams entered the league, I couldn’t see Las Vegas taking LB as their #1 starter but typically teams will take goalies with the following characteristics:

    Starter – likely a league veteran, mature, 200+ games on his resume and has the mental fortitude to play behind a weak defence. Likely the guy with the highest pay cheque at the position that can either deliver on that contract or could be moved to make room for others.

    Backup – ideally a younger version of the Starter, preferably under contract for a few seasons or a RFA after his current contract, with a few less games on his resume but shows promise to be a possible starter if the #1 falters; alternately can be a stable 1B in a rotation. Also, likely on a cap friendly contract either on term or money to give flexibility to either keep in the organization or more out for picks/prospects at the deadline.

    AHL starter with call up potential – ideally not waiver eligible but with lots of promise and could move up if the original Starter or Backup is moved or walks after a year or two. This is the role that I could see Las Vegas have for LB should they pick him. He’s cap friendly, developing and has a taste of NHL experience. Also, a RFA when his contract expires so a team will have his rights for a while.