Falcons 09-10 Reasonable Expectations (G)

The Edmonton Oilers drafted in the top 15 “window” exactly 5 times during the Kevin Prendergast era. I count his era as being 2001-07, with Barry Fraser owning the scouting director title 1979-2000 and Stu MacGregor took over in time for the 2008 (Eberle) draft. Those 5 picks delivered zircon (Niinimaki) and diamonds (Hemsky) with three men (Gagner, Plante and Dubnyk) who haven’t established their level yet. Gagner is known to us and should have at least an NHL career but we’ll need him to be better than that in order to cover the bet. Plante’s story has had some rocky moments but appears back on track.

Then there is Dubnyk. Chosen 14th overall in 2004, he is one of three first rounders from that season who have not yet played in the National Hockey League. Dubnyk’s progress is difficult to measure because the tools we use (SP) have been skewed by outside influences (the gross number of 5-on-3′s dating back to junior, extremely inexperienced blue) but if we had to make a call on him today the answer would be “fail.”

  1. Devan Dubnyk Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: More than 40 games in the AHL and a more consistent record. This is a big year for the big man. ACTUAL: He played in 62 AHL games but his record included 41 losses. His SP (.906) isn’t close to the hoped for .915 but he did improve under Daum (.908 after Valentine’s Day). Fall ’09 RE: The Falcons are going to be a more veteran group top to bottom this winter, so his SP should improve. I’ll say .912 and a cup of coffee in the show.
  2. Jeff Deslauriers Fall ’08 Reasonable expectations: Solid numbers in 10-15 NHL games and perhaps a quality conditioning stint in the minors. It’s sink or swim time for this player, with the organization seemingly convinced of his ability and the numbers suggesting otherwise. ACTUAL: Pretty close. He had solid if unspectacular NHL numbers (10gp, 3.34 .901) and played 5 good AHL games. The odds are against him historically, but he’ll likely get a heavier workload in 09-10. Fall ’09 RE: He’ll either play 30 games in the NHL and get results or the Oilers will replace him with someone who can. There’s no time left for this player in terms of development. I’ll say 20gp, 3.12, .903 with the Oilers dealing for additional help at the deadline or elevating Dubnyk.
  3. Bryan Pitton Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: Plenty of work with good results in the ECHL and perhaps a few starts in the AHL. ACTUAL: He played 34 games in the ECHL and was not impressive (.886) at all, in fact losing the starting job to undrafted Andrew Perugini. As listless as his regular season stats were, his 3 playoff games were worse. One wonders if he’ll be back. Fall ’09 RE: Pitton is listed on the Oilers site as being “in the system” but he’s likely hanging by a thread. He is signed for two more seasons according to capgeek.
  4. Glenn Fisher Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: Survival in pro hockey. He may spend the entire season as backup to Dubnyk in Springfield or he might be back in the ECHL helping out Pitton. Either way, he needs to show something this season. ACTUAL: Fisher had a horrible start and ended up in Las Vegas (ECHL) for much of the season. Once there he caught fire, boasting a .930SP in 21 regular season games and then posting a .934SP in the post-season. We need to be aware of 2 things: this is the ECHL and the parent team loaned him out, and Fisher is 26-years old with 4 total games in the AHL so far in his career. Fall ’09 RE: As far as I know, he is no longer part of the organization.
  5. Andrew Perugini I didn’t list him in the fall look but he’s certainly worth talking about now. His SP in the ECHL (.908) was 22 points better than Pitton’s and I think he’d reasonably be rated as the third best goalie in the system at this time (behind JDD and DD). Fall ’09 RE: He doesn’t have a contract, but suspect he will at some point. I like Perugini to play some in the AHL this season and play well enough to move up the depth chart.

Aaron Sorochan and Kurtis Mucha are two goalies currently on the Oilers radar and we should see some movement in this area sometime this month. I’ll update as needed. One thing is certain: Pete Peeters resume didn’t improve based on the goalie development in Edmonton. The new goalie coach can impress the hell out of us by getting any one of these goalies to perform better than their current established levels of ability. At this point the Oilers have three minor league goalies under contract (JDD, DD and Pitton) with Perugini a player of interest. This position needs to be addressed.

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10 Responses to "Falcons 09-10 Reasonable Expectations (G)"

  1. DBO says:

    Our org depth at goalie is a bit scary. Especially since we have a 36 yr old injury prone starter. i like Bulin, but nothing is there to back him up. I expect to see if JDD struggles a deal with the isles for us to pick up Biron for a pick and/or prospect. Not a bad move by the isles with Biron since he is a chip they can play and it cost them only money to acquire him. Would like to have seen Tambellini pick biron up at that cost as insurance for Bulin, who admittedly can't play more then 55-60 games and still be effective.

  2. DBO says:

    On a different note. With the rumours that San jose wants heatley, but Ottawa doesn't want they players they are offering, would anyone do this deal (3 way):

    To San Jose:
    To Ottawa:
    Heatley 3 9Smid, Cogs, Penner)
    To Edmonton:
    Cheechoo and Michalek

    The money works for all 3 teams. Ottawa gets the players they wanted originally. San Jose clears the cap space to take on Heatley. And we spend the same amount we would have on heatley, but we upgrade our 1st LW and 2RW while adding size and still keeping youth in Michalek. We them demote/deal nilsson for anything and we have almost $2 mill to sign a vet 3C (Moore, Malhotra). our lineup becomes:



    That is a way more balanced lineup. We add more size overall, a young scoring 1LW in Michalek, and a gritty player in Cheechoo coming off a down year but a good playoff, and not to mention he has scored 50 in a year. he has declined the last 3 years, but he is only 29, needs a change of scenery and provides some toughness on our top 6 we lack. We take him to get michalek.

  3. spOILer says:

    That doesn't appear to solve SJS's problems. They're about a $1M off the cap right now with 3 forwards to sign yet. This trade would have them give up scoring depth, $200K in cap space, and they would now have to sign 4 forwards with that reduced space.

  4. Nelson88 says:

    My picks to move up Lowetide's batting order based on good 2009-10 performances. JDD and Petry. I know we will both be happy to see it.

  5. Nelson88 says:


    I think of your excellent blog often but particularly today as I trained through the "Pardubice Prince's" hometown on the way from Prague to Vienna. Didn't look like much but they rarely do from the train station.

    I had a tour guide at the Prague castle compliment me on Trevor Linden when he found out I live in Vancouver. They do like their hockey over here and good on them. Beer is mighty tasty and cheap as well. Don't know if you have ever been but the type of place you would approve of I think.

    Dog days of summer but keep up the good work.

  6. spOILer says:

    As far as the goalies go, I have no idea what the Oil are up to.

    I was okay with the Khabeeb signing at the time as I thought it was the first step towards ensuring we have a playoff team next year–that there would be other moves.

    The Oil could audition JDD some more behind him, and if he failed, give DD a whirl, knowing they still have the vet to go back to, and the safety net of getting a real backup at the deadline if either failed.

    But to pick up Khabeeb and then decide to develop rather than acquire, makes no sense to me. If that was the plan, then one of the cheaper options would have been far better. Where's the need for a stud goalie if the plan is to develop?

    Once the kids have overcome their rampant haemophilia, a move for a bonafide starter could be made a couple of years down the road, if the cheaper option hasn't proven to be the stud by then.

    It seems that either this management group is continually changing plans, leading to situations where even recent moves further handcuff the future, or they have no plan at all.

    I can understand rolling the dice on Heatley even, but where the hell was plan B?

    Looking at the past month now, wouldn't we be happier with Roli signed for 2 less years at a million less per year, Nilsson dumped for a roll of tape and a felt marker, and Kotalik and Peca signed?


    I dunno, wasn't that achievable while still making the play for Heatley?

  7. Lowetide says:

    Nelson: Agreed on JDD and Petry. Deslaurier's draft and pre-draft info was exceptional, and Petry is highly regarded so hopefully the math catches up.

    As for Czech, never been. I'm sorry to say I've never been outside North America, not due to a lack of desire but circumstance.

    I consider the Heatley summer good fortune for Edmonton. They didn't piddle with the roster and they also didn't trade away youth.

  8. oilerdago says:

    Would think the burden is on JDD to prove himself this season given the contract he has (and the decision the org has to make at the end of the year on Dubynk). I think we'll have our answer by Boxing Day.

    I'm not ready though to grade Dubynk as a fail LT. He's never had a good team in front of him and last year he had an atrocious D. Remember, he was AHL goalie of the month in Nov 08 (iirc) and I think he's got a better chance of making it in the show.

    Would think the burden is totally on JDD.

  9. B.C.B. says:

    "The new goalie coach can impress the hell out of us by getting any one of these goalies to perform better than their current established levels of ability."

    Gold, but isn't this sad.

  10. Bruce says:

    Dubnyk's progress is difficult to measure because the tools we use (SP) have been skewed by outside influences (the gross number of 5-on-3's dating back to junior, extremely inexperienced blue)

    LT: Agree that the tool (singular) that is in vogue can be skewed by outside influences. While Sv% is the best we've got — especially in the lower leagues — it must be treated with suspicion.

    Of course Sv% is just one factor in the defensive equation, namely:

    SA/60 * (1 – Sv%) = GAA

    When measuring across different teams Sv% is likely the most reliable comparator, but within a given team where all goalies "should" be expected to face the same numbers and quality of shots, the bottom line IMO is GAA.

    Goalie **** (GP) SA/60 * Sv% = GAA
    Roloson *** (63) 32.6 * .915 = 2.77
    Garon ***** (15) 30.0 * .895 = 3.17
    Deslauriers (10) 33.6 * .901 = 3.33

    In the case of JDD the combination of a mediocre Sv% and a poor SA/60 rate combined, as it must, to a miserable GAA.

    Yes I know, small sample size. A shooting gallery in MSG and a very tough night against Buffalo are not going to be erased in 10 GP. Going forward, though, JDD needs to improve across the board.

    FWIW, here are the equivalent numbers for Springfield. Again, sample size is an issue for 3 of the 4, robbing the fourth (Dubnyk) of context.

    Goalie **** (GP) SA/60 * Sv% = GAA
    Deslauriers ( 5) 29.2 * .906 = 2.73
    Dubnyk **** (62) 31.5 * .906 = 2.97
    Fisher ***** ( 3) 30.0 * .900 = 3.00
    Sabourin ** (13) 33.1 * .904 = 3.17

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