Sunday, January 18, 2009

Less goalies, mo problems

Signing Alex Auld to a two-year deal was a smart idea on the part of Bryan Murray. Auld is a capable backup (and sometimes starter) who will anchor the Senators' goaltending duo for the next two years at least.

The other half of the duo, however, is yet to be resolved. Brian Elliot is riding a wave of enthusiam at the moment, but is likely not the answer to the Sens' goalie question next season. Elliot has done well, but has not excelled in the AHL. He was drafted in the 9th round, and is not exactly a blue-chip prospect. That's not to say he won't do well in the NHL, but splitting a full season with Auld in the 2009-10 season would be a burden for Elliot. The 23 year-old goalie is dancing for his dinner right now, as his contract expires and he'll become a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

Martin Gerber, who has been twice demoted to backup by more consistent teammates, is highly unlikely to return to Ottawa. (In a more crass post, I like likely say "awwww-hells-no"). The real question is whether or not he will return with ANY NHL team next season.

That leaves the Sens with free agency, and it's slim pickings this off season.

Biron, Martin 31 PHI G UFA 3.500 3.500
Ramo, Karri 22 TBL G RFA 0.658 0.725
Roloson, Dwayne 39 EDM G UFA 3.667 3.000
Khabibulin, Nikolai \ 36 CHI G UFA 6.750 6.750
Lehtonen, Kari\ 25 ATL G RFA 3.000 3.000
Fernandez, Manny\ 34 BOS G UFA 4.333 4.750
Thomas, Tim \ 35 BOS G UFA 1.100 1.100

(Thanks to a Leafs forum for the goalie options. I know, it's sad, we're in the same situation.)

With either Fernandez or Thomas to be re-signed by Boston, and half of the others to find new homes at the trade deadline and then be signed, there's no long-term options out there for the Senators. Khahibulin (which would be a bitch to spell out daily) has redeemed himself this season after a shaky 2008-09, and might sign for less (gasp) than $6-million because of his inconsistancy.

There's much more to be said before the trade deadline, and eventually, free agency. This is simply the opening of the discussion. Where can the Sens go from here?

Edit: Yow. Shit. Thanks, player profile. Elliot is18-8-1 this year in Bingo.
He's doing 'aight :P
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