Yesterday I commented on Edmonton’s most recent roster cuts, and more specifically, who made the team. Some good arguments have been made for some guys who probably could’ve taken a roster spot on the big club. Reddox, Omark…Petiot…all could’ve made it, but for whatever reason, didn’t.
Being a goalie guy, I really took umbrage with the fact that three netminders made the big club, and why it won’t help the team (or the players) in the foreseeable future, and after the jump, that’s what I’m going to lament about.
Let’s get cranky.
Count ‘em. One, two, three.
Alright, let’s begin.
The Oilers kept three goaltenders to open the season. And, unless someone knows something about the current health or legal problems of a one Nikolai Khabibulin, it seems ridiculous to even consider three goaltenders on an active roster for an NHL squad. It’s ridiculous because it takes a roster spot away from another player. You know, one that actually plays for six, eight minutes, when a third netminder is usually scratched and thinking about what’s he’ll have as a post game meal.
Pick any of the names that were waived or sent down that I mentioned earlier: Petiot. Reddox. Omark. All better choices than a third goaltender.
Say Petiot is on the big club. Sure, he’ll likely catch some scratches (as a young player is likely to do), but it’d likely be a lot less than…a third goaltender. I’m sure that Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk are clawing for the number two spot at this time, but wouldn’t it be beneficial to either one of them to have some time playing in the AHL, rather than just sit and rot?
For the sake of the argument, let’s say that Edmonton rides this three goalie thing out for the season. How will the games played breakdown look? Let’s say Khabibulin defies all odds, skates out there and picks up 30 wins in 55 games. Not bloody likely, but let’s just say he plays in 55 games with no adverse health or legal effects. Where does that leave Deslauriers and Dubnyk? 27 games between two netminders? That’s a lot of pine needles in two behinds. Couldn’t one be used in the AHL, or here’s a crazy idea, maybe you could’ve pried a pick or an Orange Julius out of Minnesota a week ago this time for one of them?
Then, there’s a not so crazy idea that Nikolai Khabibulin won’t tear it up out there, and might be limited in action for whatever reason. Maybe, Khabibulin won’t see 55 games, but something more like last year’s amount (God help us) of about twenty. Does the team do the same damn thing this year that allowed them to finish 30th last year, and ride the tar out of Dubnyk and Deslauriers? Can anybody watch that for another season? Sure, we all expect (read: hope) the Oilers will score some more goals this year, but what if the kids stall, and the goaltenders are hung out like this afternoon’s bedsheets?
Also: what about Martin Gerber? Originally penned in as an AHL option, it looked pretty clear to me that he had a legitimate shot at opening up the season on the big club, maybe as a 1A for Khabibulin (or the number 1 if Khabibulin wasn’t ready to go). Gerber went a few games without allowing a single goal, and when it was all said and done, I think he allowed two goals the entire preseason. Granted, he played a couple of partial games, but that’s nothing to sneeze at when you’re looking at a guy who would be making league minimum should he stay on the big club. But it’s not going to happen, at least not to open the season. Gerber will likely start in Oklahoma City along with Bryan Pitton.
Alright, I think I’m out of steam. Drop a comment if you agree, disagree, or think this entire thing is getting worked up over nothing.
I can’t imagine keeping a skater off the team in favour of a goaltender. A third goaltender.