This is Jeff Drouin Deslauriers playing goal in the AHL. He’s without his stick and appears to be stopping a shot that originated from the top of the score clock.
The Oilers signed JDD the other day to a one-way contract. It’s a two-year deal that apparently pays him (thanks to Louiss at HF) $550,000 and then $750,000.
I like the signing. It’s very low risk for a few reasons. Unlike the EIG era paying Deslauriers $550,000 to play in the AHL is possible. Also, it’s a stretch to suggest that Deslauriers is one of the 60 best goalies available to NHL teams so the waiver risk isn’t huge.
Plus, and this is the important thing, if they lose the guy to waivers it isn’t the end of the world. Unless Deslauriers is one of those rare players who shows up in the big leagues and becomes better than the minor league numbers suggest (Matt Stairs was a little that way) due to ballpark effects et cetera then we’re dealing with a marginal NHL player who is likely to have several stops along the way.
One quote I found especially interesting came from one of our favorites: “Jeff made some significant strides last season and now appears ready to challenge for a spot on our hockey club,” Oilers VP Kevin Prendergast said in a statement on the Oilers site.
Let’s see it that’s true: Jeff’s made significant strides. The best way to measure goalie performance is save percentage, and although (like E.R.A.) it can change from season to season quality goalies finish in their respective league’s top 10 yearly. So in order for KP’s statement to be true then JDD would need to have improved markedly year over year. Right?
- 06-07 Deslauriers SP: .908 (tied for 21st)
- 07-08 Deslauriers SP: .912 (16th overall)
Slight improvement, but enough for a one-way deal? No. Perhaps Prendergast meant Deslauriers was more consistent? Maybe Deslauriers had more periods of strong goaltending and fewer times in the sewer this past season.
- months over .920: 3
- months under .900: 2
- Best month: .923 in 7 games
- Worst month: .865 in 5 games
- months over .920: 3
- months under .900: 1
- Best month: .934 in 10 games
- Worst month: .861 in 6 games
It doesn’t look like Deslauriers has shown tremendous improvement year over year but what I don’t know about goaltending is a lot. Deslauriers is 8 percentage points clear of his G partner Devan Dubnyk (.912 to .904) and was one of the two best options a year ago (JDD was at .908 with the Penguins in 06-07, compared to Andrew Penner at .891 but took a back seat to Nolan Schaeffer who posted an impressive .914SP in 15 games with Scranton).
I think this is a case the team deciding to give him a chance in training camp to push Dwayne Roloson for the backup job. If he performs well enough, the Oilers may very well keep 3 goalies until Roloson’s salary reduces to the point where Colorado takes him off the Oilers hands. If he doesn’t, they send him down and lose his rights or pay him a little extra for his trouble.
Not really an endorsement so much as a strategic use of assets.