Training Camp…thoughts and projections on the Edmonton Oilers (Goaltenders)

Posted: September 19, 2008 in NHL, Oilers, Prospects
Tags: , ,


With all the pundits picking the Oilers as a playoff team, the look to our skilled youth, our improved and hopefully healthy defense, and the return of of our banged up leaders into the fold. Garon was drafted 44th overall by the Canadiens in 1996.

Garon actually played pretty well as a Hab. In 39 games played he had a 2.48 goals against average. Watching him as a Canadien, you thought he could be an NHL starter. The problem for Garon was timing. He was just coming into the NHL when Jose Theodore was having the best years of his career.

When he was shipped to LA with a 3rd rounder for Huet and Bonk who was acquired for a 3rd rounder so it was basically a Huet for Garon straight up swap. The lockout was a good year in the AHL for Garon, but the oddity I find in his career was the 2005-06 season in Los Angeles. It was his only year as an NHL starter and the numbers were not good on a pretty decent looking Kings squad. He was given the reigns again in 2006-07 but a groin injury and finger injury provided him with a season that was OK numbers wise but not a lot of games played. The Kings in their infinite wisdom figured that Labarbera’s excellent AHL season was enough to give him a shot at the starting job and the Oilers signed Garon in the offseason.

What we saw last season is probably a pretty good indicator of what the Edmonton Oilers have. A solid goaltender that might win you the odd game, won’t throw up too many bricks, and will be enough to tip a few scales to your side in the Shootout. (Although the expectation of repeat performance in the shootout is wishful thinking.) I think he will outperform last year because of a more mature team in front of him, as well as two veterans in Visnovsky and Souray that will be patrolling his blueline that were not there last year.

Projection: Starting goalie-trending upwards (65 games played 36 wins – 22 loss – 7 OT loss)


Roli is in the last year of his contract and turns 39 in October. I am not sure what his off season training regimen is but it had better be in decent shape. I think that some team that is a contender would likely kick the tires on Roli after some of his salary was taken by the Oilers. The way the cap works they would only have to fit him in for the portion that they have to pay so if by chance they need an experienced back up, Christmas would be a time frame that would be more likely.

If Tambellini can find a dance partner, Roloson is as good as gone. With the three headed monster in net with three one way contracts, this is a huge negative for the team. When you have three guys in practice, it is uncomfortable. When you have to scratch a goalie for a game and put him in the press box, it is uncomfortable. Needless to say, if a partner existed already, the Oilers might have parted ways with Roloson. It might take a serious injury to a first string goalie elsewhere to accelerate the process, but rather than schadenfreude another team, let’s hope that someone decides they want Roloson as an insurance policy.

The downside of this is that the Oilers may very well be competing for their division. If they move Roloson, and Garon gets hurt, Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk are your tandem. A frightful thought at this juncture of their careers. Personally I have never been a Deslauriers fan but this season he seemed to take a big stride. If the other two perform well, Roloson will be the odd man out and won’t finish the season as an Oiler.

Projection: Back up goalie-trending equal (8 games played 3 wins – 3 loss – 2 OT loss)


No, I have never been a fan. Ever since the term “Competed hard on a bad team.” was coined for JDD and MA Pouliot, I have hated it. To the point that if the Oilers ever draft a player with that phrase, I will likely discount the pick as a poor one.

The funny thing on the way to the “bust” Deslauriers in the last two seasons seemingly has “got it” more and more. On top of it Deslauriers even impressed enough to gain a two year, one way contract with the Oil. Timing some time is everything. In this case, Deslauriers should be ready for some back up duty this season, and will as soon as the three headed monster is slain.

Projection: Backup to the Backup until he is traded. Trending upwards. (10 games played 4 wins-6 losses)


I can remember looking at the screen in awe when the Oilers took Devan Dubnyk. I knew they needed a goalie, but with their first pick in the first round? They needed Robbie Schremp, the offensive dynamo. (Who knew he would slip to them at 25?) At the time Dubnyk was the 2nd highest rated NA goalie by CSB. As far as curves go, there seem to be a few that look to be passing him,(Cory Schneider who looked great in the Camrose rookie tourney, Kari Rammo for another) but goalies are hard to judge and since he is 22 years old, being the number one guy in the AHL is a decent progression.

Projection: Starting AHL goalie (50 games 26 wins – 20 losses – 4 OT losses)


Have you ever sat there on draft day, looked over the picks and let the names slip by your eyes like clouds floating by on a windy day? Then, out of nowhere, the name starts doing something, providing some interest where none did before. From what I gather, Pitton had a decent year as a back up for Brampton in his draft year behind Darren Machesney. Goals against weren’t spectacular but his save percentage at least was close to the starter. (That to me is a gauge of a back up. Ultimately if he can keep similar stats to your starter, then he is worth his weight in scheckles.)

Last year he platooned in goal with Patrick Kileen with marginally better stats, but was good enough in the playoffs to earn a three year contract. It is still too early to tell what we have here, but he is good enough to be in the mix at training camp.

Projection: Back up AHL goalie (20 games 9 wins – 7 losses – 4 OT losses)


Fisher isn’t going to be much for this organization. Fisher’s like top end might be an AHL starting goalie sometime in the future, but he would still have to make a big jump to get to that point. He was statistically worse in the ECHL to his platoon mate in Stockton named Tim Boron.

I remember watching Fisher in training camp a couple years ago and seeing a guy that really had some work to do to compete for any kind of NHL job. Would be nice if the hometown boy could do well, but he likely is near his top end already.

Projection: ECHL starting goalie (52 games 20 wins – 25 losses – 7 OT losses)


Jonathan Willis from Copper and Blue likes Perugini better than Pitton. I can’t agree or disagree since I haven’t had any viewings and not much to compare him to. I will go with the premise that since he was passed over in three drafts and doesn’t have an NHL deal, he isn’t ahead of the guy with the contract.

Projection: (EDIT APPARENTLY PERUGINI WILL BE OFFERED A CONTRACT AND COMPETE FOR THE AHL BACK UP JOB) With that knowledge Projection: ECHL/AHL (25 games 12 wins – 10 losses – 3 OT Losses)

The Edmonton Oilers have nice depth in net. It will become better for the team when they decide if and when to move Roloson and allow Deslauriers to get some starts.

  1. slats432 says:

    Well, I sit corrected.

    So, what does that mean for depth.

    I suppose AP, Pitton and Fisher fight for a backup job in Springfield and starting job in Stockton?

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