Thinking about the Edmonton Oilers goaltending gives me a headache. I can only imagine what it does to Steve Tambellini, Kevin Lowe and the Oilers management group.
The veteran starter is front page news for all the wrong reasons and the former first (and high second) round picks haven’t established themselves in a (combined) 10 seasons of pro hockey.
Goalies can take a long time to develop and at this time in NHL history quality netminders are available for good prices every summer. The investment (picks, years in the minors developing) in goaltending doesn’t look like it’ll be returning positive results again this decade. One hopes the organization doesn’t invest any more high picks on goaltenders.
- Devan Dubnyk 30gp, 3.21 .902
- Nikolai Khabibulin 24gp, 3.00 .906
- Jeff Deslauriers 18gp, 3.33 .900
- Martin Gerber 10gp, 3.60 .899
A couple of notes: Any of the top three goalies on the list could end up starting, and you can’t rule out Gerber either. I also think Olivier Roy enters this race sooner than later. Oilers management is all about youth, and a few hot games in training camp and pre-season for the teenage phenom and we’ll have ourselves another story. I suspect management would welcome it: Roy’s emergence would be a positive, the theme is youth and building for the future, and it would take attention away from the other problems at the position.
Finally, Khabibulin. We should keep an eye on the training camp physical, the court proceedings and Gary Bettman’s office on this issue. It might take the entire season to play out, but I think the league will want to have a say on it before the Oilers get their player back (after the appeal is complete).
Final 10-11 RE prediction. Oilers GF: 215 Oilers GA: 265
(last season: 214-284)