Break it down! – Goaltender

By , August 26, 2009 2:39 pm


This is the third among a few recurring posts where I break down and discuss different parts of the Oilers and how I think they are going to perform this coming year, their strengths and weaknesses and where we could use some help. The others are here.

Young forwards, balanced D and an old as dirt goalie. I’m not as big a fan of this signing as some are, and you’ll see why.

Lets take a peek at what we have in net:

Strengths would be…he played really really well in a contract year.

Dude is old. Not Roli old sure, but still old. I was happy when the Oilers played hardball with Roloson but then they go and sign an old dude anyways? And for fucks sake, goalies were cheap as shit this year.

Also I’m not sure how many people remember the last contract year that Khabi had, but it was in Tampa…and then he signed a monster deal with Chi-town and proceeded to shit the bed. Couldn’t even get picked up on waivers.

We have NO backup either. JDD wasn’t tested last year. Dubnyk played for a losing team last year so we don’t know about him (numbers were not so hot, but that could be the team he was on). I wonder at what point the new goalie coach taps ol’ Tambi on the shoulder and says “We are fucked”.

Although, if this works out I’ll eat my crow.

Could Use
A goalie. One that is young, born in the 80’s and is a known commodity. I don’t know. Like a Biron. For 1.5 mil. Jesus christ.

And Finally
If you can’t tell, I am less than impressed with the goalie situation. Our D can cover for a lot though, and if everything works out and Khabi plays like he gives a shit (i.e. last year + playoffs) then it might all work out.

But this was the year to pick up a good goalie on the cheap.

11 Responses to “Break it down! – Goaltender”

  1. Racki says:

    Tell us how you really feel, Steve-O ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, I like that we picked up Khabibulin. However, I don’t like the length or salary of his contract at all. Signing a 35+ goalie at that price isn’t smart at all. And seeing Biron sign for $1.4M elsewhere was a huge kick in the junk. I’d even consider Roli at his $2.5 a better deal.

    That all said though, I think we are a better team with Khabi in the net than Roli. But this wasn’t a good signing… so perhaps we can cut Lowe some slack since apparently he’s not the only “dipshit” in management here (to steal Steve-O’s old caption from an early article, in reference to Lowe).

    Honestly though, I still give Tambellini credit for grabbing one of the best available, but dammmmn. 4 years – at that price!? Does he know the list of goaltenders who are UFA next year?

    Again, don’t get me wrong.. I’m on board with Khabi. Just it should have been a cheaper and shorter deal.

  2. Hockey Noob says:

    Hey Steve-O,

    Shit ya! This was clearly a bad gambool without question. Bulin gets injured…we have no reliable back up and we suck on $3.75 million cap hit. Bulin retires…same deal. Bulin mails it in… same deal. We only really break even on the bet if he plays decent and for the duration of his contract. That being said, I do like Bulin but again there’s the nagging concern with him likely playing far less games than Roli did last year. How will JDD do with more games this year? Odds are not great in his favor based on his past performances.

  3. Racki says:

    Yah you know what, Noob, it’s another case of the Oilers putting all their eggs in one basket. Got to shake my head here.

    As for JDD, I don’t see much support for him anywhere. But I personally do like him. I find his style very similar to Garon’s though, and I was also a big fan of his.

  4. chucker says:

    I like this signing and I don’t like the contract. Khabi is a definite upgrade in skill when he decides to play over Roloson. Roloson playing on the Island will get shot to ribbons.

    The length is what concerns me (insert male anatomy joke here). Four years was silly to be kind. A two year would have gotten it done, and as Racki said, one only needs to see the goalies available next season to figure out that a short deal is likely better.

    The Biron signing by the Isles was something that really made me mad. 1.5 for a guy who played on a team with no D? Why exactly are we not eager to have certainty in goal? This used to be the hallmark of Oilers teams. Maybe not the best team, but always a top flight goalie. That changed under Lowe and not for the better. Hopefully Khabi pushes us back in that direction, but like Steve-O said, if Khabi is injured, we’re f’d.

    I think JDD has all the tools to be a good goaltender in this league, but I thought the same thing about Conklin at one time too. You just don’t know with goaltenders. You’re better off to grab a couple with experience.

  5. LateNightOilFan says:

    I’m with Stevo-O on this one and I think it’s a lateral move at best considering Roli and Khabbi’s sv% is identical over the past 3 years with Roli playing more games and facing more shots per game. Add our unproven backups and Khabbi’s injury history and I am very nervous going into the season. I really hope to be proven wrong.

    We should be happy about the Biron signing in a way though – it was a deal only offered to NYI so don’t think for a second Biron would have signed with the Oilers or any other team at that price earlier in FA. He screwed up and over-priced himself in a buyers market and got passed over as a result. So he and his agent came up with Plan B and approached NYI, not the other way around, so he could stay on the radar of NHL teams for those in need during the year. He sacrificed the big bucks/term this year to land them next year. That said, should Khabbi go down and JDD/DD not handle the load, Biron at $1.5m is very attractive & affordable and perhaps we could work out a deal during the season. Someone is going to and it would likely only cost a draft pick since NYI are re-building.

    What really pisses me off is the fact that the Oilers offered Khabbi 4 years from the start – he admitted that in his first interview saying he was looking at 1-2 year offers and then the Oilers came along with a 4 year deal that he couldn’t refuse. So they didn’t even have to negotiate the deal with Khabbi. Truly Christmas in July for him courtesy of the Oilers from the sounds of it. The more I think about it I don’t think Roli was ever in their plans because Quinn is more familiar with Khabbi. I think the one year offer to Roli was to appease the fans – the Oilers knew he wanted a two-year deal – Roli said when they came back to the Oilers about a longer term they never heard back. The Oilers wanted Khabbi, period, and they overpaid in term and risk to get him. Hopefully it works out.

    I think Roli will be fine on the Island chucker provided he can play like he did last year – NYI only gave up 1 more shot/game last year than the Oilers. Roli had 11 40+ shot games last year and MacDonald/Danis 12 between them. Roli will feel right at home!

  6. Racki says:

    Yah hearing that Khabi only originally wanted only 1 or 2 years makes this even harder to swallow. And while I do agree that we wouldn’t have gotten the same deal for Biron (at least in the beginning), I do think that running out and grabbing Khabi right off the bat for 4 years at that price was foolish.

    Ok, I can see grabbing Khabibulin as quick as you can. He might arguably have been the best goalie available. But for 4 years? I don’t think even Khabi’s own mother thinks he has that much game left in him. The goalie market is saturated this year, and next year it’s saturated even more. So what that should tell you is, try and get a goalie cheap this year. And well, if you can’t get one for cheap, you don’t grab some 35+ year old and sign him long term. Sign him to 1 or 2 years, and then look again next year.

    I know we fans will always find a reason to complain, but that move just doesn’t make any sense. A guy like that should either be signed long term (i.e. the 4 years) for a discounted rate (say $2M) or short term to a slightly inflated rate. It seems to me that we signed him long term to an inflated rate, given the market.

  7. Mr.Majestyk says:

    I just want to chime in here and mention that on July 1st every Oiler fan was shitting bricks as Roli went elsewhere and other teams were snapping up the free agent goaltenders. I’m sure it would have been Tambi’s preference to not have the deal so long but the negotiations with Khabi probably depended on the length more than the dollars. As far as Biron goes, you know that game where everyone walks around in a circle and when the music stops every takes a chair, but there’s not enough chairs for everyone? Yeah, that was Biron. He didn’t want such a shit deal, but he was forced to get a shit or play in Russia. The Oilers could have taken a chance and waited and maybe gotten a bargain in a guy like Biron, but they certainly didn’t want to go into the year without a starter so they probably figured it was best to get the guy they want most even if it means paying a bit more for him.

  8. LateNightOilFan says:

    Re Khabbi Mr. M, my point was there didn’t appear to be any negotiations. They probably could have done a 3 year deal. Here’s the quotes from Khabbi:

    “We had some one-year offers, but when I had such a long commitment from the Oilers, it was a pretty easy decision to make — especially going to a Canadian city. It’s going to be very exciting.”

    “My agent called after Edmonton offered the deal. We thought about it a little bit and decided to go with it. Edmonton made such a big commitment. There weren’t too many opportunities out there for such a long term.”

    But anyway, Khabbi’s the guy now, let’s just hope he stays healthy.

  9. Mr.Majestyk says:

    Yeah, those are his comments after he signed the deal but we aren’t privy to exactly what the negotiations were with him before that. As is usually the case, we probably had to offer more than other teams to land him. For all we know he was leaning towards going elsewhere till the Oilers stepped up with a the 4 year deal.

    Like you said, he’s the guy now so hopefully he does well. I know I’ll be cheering him on.

  10. Racki says:

    Stop defending management’s blunders, Mr.M. haha

    Seriously though, I don’t have a problem with this signing, except for the length. I’m sure we did have to pay a bit extra, but this just seems like Tambellini was holding his ankles at the time the deal was made. But really, as Oiler GM, you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I think people are going to start to see that Kevin Lowe isn’t as big of an idiot as he looks. Deals don’t come easy here. Tambellini is just finding that out. The one thing though is Lowe let some contracts go that he shouldn’t have, but Tambellini seems to be doing the same thing. I think these guys are cut from the same cloth. People in this town love to get on Lowe for stupid signings, but again I think that’s the nature of being in supposed Hockey Siberia.

    This signing is no better than when Lowe gave a proven (on our team) Dwayne Roloson $3.67M for 3-years (except that granted, Khabi does have a bit better of a track record.. bust still somewhat comparable deals). But I bet you there’s a lot more support for Tambellini than Lowe. To Tambellini’s defence though, he’s got a bit tough mess to clean up though.

  11. Mr.Majestyk says:

    I realize your kidding, but I don’t defend managements blunders. This isn’t a blunder unless Khabi sucks, or unless he sucks in the 3rd and 4th year of the contract. At that point, I’ll be glad to bitch and complain about what an idiotic move it was. Since that hasn’t happened I don’t understand why people are so bent out of shape about the offseason.

    Hope floats yo.

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