A better option. Photo courtesy goaliesarchive.com

By The Numbers - #29 Martin Gerber

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Alright, finally.  A goalie.

A goalie who played three games on the big club this year.

Martin Gerber. Photo courtesy Edmonton Oilers

NAME: Martin Gerber

SWEATER NUMBER: 29

POSITION: Goaltender

DOB: 03 SEP 1974 (36)

NUMBERS: 3-0-0, 1.30 GAA, .958 SV%

2010-11 SALARY/CONTRACT:  $500,000, will be UFA July 1st 2011

THE SKINNY

Took me by surprise when I heard that Martin Gerber was signed to a one year deal last offseason.  Would he be brought in as a number 2?  Would he challenge Khabibulin for the starting job?  Would he be stuffed in the minors for practically the entire season?

If you were the first one to answer the last of those choices, come collect your prize.

GERBER WAS THE BEST GOALIE COMING OUT OF CAMP IN 2010.

There, I said it.  Gerber should have found himself onto the big club and someone else should’ve been stuffed in the minors.  Remember that impressive 5-1-0 preseason the Oilers found themselves in?  Anyone see how Gerber played?  On his head.  But preseason doesn’t count for much in the standings, I admit.  Regardless of what you thought about Gerber’s 2010 preseason, he was sent to help backstop the Oklahoma City Barons to a competitive start with Jeff Deslauriers.

JUST THE FACTS

Gerber ended up playing three games for the Oilers in 2010-11.

  • 3-0-0 record
  • .958 SV%.
  • 1.30 GAA (he allowed a total of four goals in 185 minutes of play).

When Nikolai Khabibulin’s back went a little wonky in November, Gerber was called up in relief.  Gerber posted two games of high quality rubber stoppage, allowing two goals in 37 total shots against the Avalanche in an Oilers victory.  Shortly thereafter, Gerber allowed only one goal in 23 shots against his former club in Ottawa.

DON’T GET TOO EXCITED.  HE’S A BACKUP AT BEST.  AND DON’T YOU ALREADY HAVE A GOALIE IN HIS LATE 30S?

Yes, but I don’t think that it would’ve been too radical an idea to have a quality backup on the NHL team so that Khabibulin didn’t have to get thrown to the wolves each night.  I realize that Khabibulin didn’t have much help out there, but you don’t go 10-32-4 with a .890 SV% in 47 games  unless there’s something going on.  (To put that into perspective, Don Beaupre had a 8-25-3 record with a .896 SV% in 38 games with Ottawa in 1994-95.  Anybody remember how bad that team was? They won nine games all year during the lockout shortened season)

ARE YOU SAYING THAT KHABIBULIN AND GERBER SHOULD’VE STARTED 2010-11 IN EDMONTON?

I’m saying that Dubnyk and Gerber should’ve started 2010-11 in Edmonton, but that’s a whole other post entirely.

GETTING TO THE POINT

Gerber was signed to a two-way contract for the league minimum, and I believe he was brought in to help get the OKC franchise off to a good start.  I’m absolutely certain he should’ve started more games at the NHL level, especially when Khabibulin’s back tweaked in November, and when the wheels really fell off later in the season.

I know that Gerber isn’t a long term solution, but if he goes 3 for 3 on spot duty, who’s to say that he couldn’t win half of 20? 

It’s difficult to figure out where Gerber will be next year.  The Oilers club may opt to sign him for another year in OKC. Although Gerber is on record saying although he’s open to playing another season exclusively in the AHL, he’d also like another shot at the NHL level.  If the Oilers are even entertaining ideas of signing Gerber, I’d consider putting him in Edmonton if he had half the camp he had in 2010.

Yes, that might mean having to do something with one of the more lucratively contracted goaltenders this team has.

IT’S YOUR TURN

What do you do with Martin Gerber?

  • If you resign him and he has a good camp, do you keep in on the big club?
  • Do you resign him and stash him in the AHL regardless of how good his camp is?
  • Or, do you just let him go?

Next player – #33 Steve MacIntyre

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