Some unfortunate news from the Minnesota Wild today as sources report goaltender Josh Harding will undergo season-ending knee surgery.
As unfortunate as this is for the Harding and the Wild, this leaves a vacancy in Minnesota’s 2G slot.
You know what? I know a guy that might be able to help you out.
Josh Harding is confirmed to have torn his ACL and his MCL after a first period collision in a preseason contest. Injuries are an awful part of the game, and it’s especially awful for young guys who are perpetually injury prone (quick sidebar: my favourite player growing up was Stéphane Fiset, so I’ve seen a thing or two about goalies who miss significant playing time due to injuries).
So Minnesota needs a goaltender. I know a guy who might fill in just perfectly. And, I know of another team that has a pretty large amount of goaltenders on their NHL roster, but they’re having one hell of an offseason with their number one guy, what with his legal troubles and wonky back.
Jeff Deslauriers shouldered a good chunk of the workload in Edmonton last year on an Oiler squad that had more than just problems in goal. To add to that, this year Jeff Deslauriers has at least a glancing chance at landing the number one slot this year in Edmonton if all the chips fall his way.
The fact that this unique scenario exists I believe plays into the hands of the Oilers greater than had it not. Deslauriers is one of four possible candidates that could start the season between the pipes, and I believe that this slightly increases his trade value. Add to the fact that I believe Martin Gerber has a legitimate shot to land a roster spot in Edmonton (as does Devan Dubnyk), and I think that Deslauriers becomes a bit more expendable.
Deslauriers signed a one-year deal worth $1.05M this summer, a manageable (and a little bit lower than Harding’s) number for a number two goaltender should he find himself in Minnesota behind Niklas Backstrom.
It’s a deal that will give Minnesota an immediate plug, and the return could be a draft pick, or if the tradewinds are blowing Edmonton’s way, maybe a guy like prospect Nate Prosser.