Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Kingdom for A Keeper

Once again, with the Oil out of action until tomorrow, a look at next year's squad.

And this one, more then anything will be entirely decided on the next six games and when the Oil get into the playoffs, what follows. (Glass half full.)

If Roloson gets his act together and does his job (ie/ is not the reason the Oilers fail to advance at some point) then I think they bring him back. His performance has been up and down and he has cost or helped cost the Oilers, I think five points was an estimate I read somewhere, but before he came to Edmonton he had played three games or something ridiculous in 2006. So, if he pulls it together then why not? But if he doesn't ...

The problem, as I see it, is there is a serious dearth of quality keepers out there and, even worse, not a lot of them available. There are only a couple of UFAs worth looking at - Gerber and Huet - I can't see giving a pile of money to Huet, who had had, what, one good half season. So you're bidding against the Leafs, Tampa, Carolina and probably a few other teams for Gerber.

In terms of guys who are or may be available there are some gambles - Raycroft and Dan Cloutier come to mind - but I can't see Lowe gambling on another season. Likewise forget guys like Cujo.

So, here are some possibilities and what they might cost:

Giguere - I think he has 1 year left on his contract at @ 4M so they could squeeze him in, I think but what would he cost if Burke wanted to dump his salary. Apparently his backup is an up and comer. My guess is Burke would want someone young and cheap, someone like Torres. Was kicking around Smyth as logical tradebait earlier but looking at Burke's earlier moves this year I'm thinking he wants young and cheap

Denis - good numbers this year though I have not seen him play but would Doug McLean move his #1 goalie in a year where he has to at least make a run at the playoffs?

Biron - I think this may be the guy - one year left on his contract and he is an RFA so probably a reasonable cap number I would think - for MAB or a prospect?

Esche - I keep coming back to him for two reasons - he's cheap and while he's having an off year his numbers are still decent - not sure if he is a gamble or not and haven't seen enough of him to be able to say honestly - he's a nut though and might not handle the first time he hears the boobirds

Any other suggestions? This is the problem. For all of the people who got on Lowe at the deadline for getting Roloson there are not a lot of good keepers out there.


Julian said...

Why not Torres for Denis? If we've got a surplus of LW next year (ie, if Samsonov, Smyth and Moreau all stick around) then Torres is trade bait, and CBJ might like him.

I don't know how valued Denis is by CBJ though, except that Leclaire seems to be the future #1.

namflashback said...

I think the Oiler's org is pretty high on Torres. Not for what he has done (streaky boy), but that if he develops consistency he could be a big contributor.

Doug McLean previously said that he wanted to keep Denis.

Just as the supply of Goalies was not strong during summer of 05 and not strong at trade deadline, it still won't be very strong summer of 06.

And because goaltending has been spotty all around -- demand will be high.

If Roloson gets them to the post-season, resign him while he still has the afterglow of finally being made a #1. Then pray that Devan Dubnyk develops fast, or that GDD finds his way.

Either that or trade for another prospect goalie (doesn't Toronto have a glut of these?)

Given the way things have gone in Goalie land, I think the Oil will have a better chance of growing a Goalie.

lowetide said...

One thing is certain you don't get far without good goaltending. Oilers may have to give up something dear in order to get a goalie this summer.

One thing I ask is get it right. If they have to give up Torres or Bergeron or two 1sts or Schremp, whatver.

Make damn good and sure the guy you're getting is the real deal.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Absolutely, no fooling around. I think Lowe has no choice. I had no problems with him going with Conkannen to start this year - I wish he would have moved a little quicker to pull the trigger on replacing them though. Anyhow, he cannot make the same mistake in 2006/2007. Get it right. And with a lot of young cheap players and decent prospects he has the chips to deal.

Toronto has two kids, Pogge and the Finn, Rask, but they're both 19. T.O. media is already talking up dealing one for help in other areas but 19 year old goalies - remember Jimmy Waite? I think they need to look for another youngster for sure to go with Dubnyk & JDD-WTF - you can never have too much goaltending but that's longterm.
Another option if Roloson does well going forward - go with him and then pick up Raycroft, Cloutier, Esche - gamble on the backup but not the starter.
Figured as much about Denis - remember 2004-2005 when every goalie had a .900 save % and GAA under 3.00. Back in the day.