According to a tweet that just came out from the Oilers, Al Montoya has been placed on waivers for the purpose of assignment to the Bakersfield Condors, ending the conversation (for now) about who will start the season as the backup goalie.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 28, 2018
After having a slow start to the pre-season, Mikko Koskinen wasn’t exactly endearing himself to the Oilers faithful and actually seemed to be causing more questions than he was offering answers. Some of the goals he’s allowed during these warm-up games have not been great to put it lightly, and that led many to wonder if Al Montoya could sneak in there and steal the backup job. But after having a solid outing last night against the Coyotes, Koskinen clearly did enough to cement his place on the roster and send Al Montoya to the waiver wire with the intent of sending him to the Bakersfield Condors.
An interesting part of this transaction, for me, is that Shane Starrett will get the call to be the emergency backup on the Europe trip to Germany and Sweden. Obviously, there’s only a teeny tiny chance that he Starrett gets anywhere close to playing but you’d have to think that the guy is pretty excited about being able to experience an overseas roadie with an NHL team. That’s a once in a lifetime experience that he’ll never forget, and you also have to believe that seeing how the pros do it offers a taste of the good life that will only benefit his drive to succeed moving forward. At least, you’d hope.
Anyway… With the regular season inching closer, the roster is starting to take its final shape and another position is now locked down as we found out that Koskinen’s early blunders were not enough to see him punted from the spot he was signed to fill. As for Al Montoya, it will be pretty interesting to see what the future holds for him because you’d have to think that the organization would want some of their younger goaltending options to play the bulk of the minutes in Bakersfield, right? Then again, maybe it would be nice to have a veteran goaltender down there to help mentor a young goalie like Stuart Skinner? That is, of course, unless someone decides to pick Montoya up off waivers. Needless to say, there are still questions about how everything will work out in terms of overall deployment but today’s move certainly gives us a better idea. We wait.
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 9/28/2018 – 9:00 am MT