The Edmonton Oilers are in search of a new goaltender and it’s nothing to be surprised about.
With Mike Smith injured, Mikko Koskinen has struggled to carry the load of a full-time starter. And according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the search continues on.
In his 32 Thoughts column Tuesday, Friedman wrote that “if Philadelphia had been willing to take a late-round pick for Martin Jones, it’s possible he would already be an Edmonton Oiler. But the Flyers wanted something better and felt the market will strengthen as we get closer to the deadline.”
Jones is far from an inspiring option in the net. The 32-year-old has appeared in 154 games over the last four seasons posting a 74-61-13 record, a .897 save percentage, a 3.09 GAA and has his goals saved above average is a horrendous -54.4. This season in Philadelphia is no different. A 6-8-2 record, .901 save percentage and 3.56 GAA don’t instill any confidence.
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Nonetheless, the Oilers appear to be examining other options, too, Friedman reported.
Name a goalie — Alexander Georgiev, Braden Holtby, Ville Husso, Anton Khudobin, Joonas Korpisalo, Vitek Vanecek, Semyon Varlamov — they looked at it. There undoubtedly are others, rentals, non-rentals, you name it.
GM Ken Holland held. He doesn’t want to trade his first-rounder, and multiple teams indicated that the higher it looked the second-rounder could be, he wasn’t thrilled about moving it, either. (That pick or the Oilers’ third will go to Chicago, pending their playoff performance.) Their fourth-rounder already belongs to New Jersey. Dallas prefers moving Khudobin over Holtby, and several people made a good point about Varlamov. If he goes, there’s no Russian on the roster with Ilya Sorokin — not a small thing.
The Oilers can always turn over the keys to Stuart Skinner, but putting your trust in a rookie goaltender has its risks too.
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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]