On January 17 the Pittsburgh Penguins traded Dany Sabourin, Ryan Stone and a 4th round pick in 2011 to Edmonton for Oilers back-up goalie Matheui Garon. My question was, and still is, why??
Since joining the birds Garon has played one game. He allowed five goals on 21 shots in a loss at Toronto and looked like a quality backup for an AHL or ECHL team. In his defense, Vesa Toskala didn't look much better on the other side of things allowing 4 goals on 26 shots.
Sabourin hasn't played at all for the Oilers, so don't accuse me of suggesting that he is the better goalie. I don't think there was a better goalie in this trade. My question for Ray Shero is why he would take on a player with a $1.1 million cap number in exhange for a prospect, a pick and a $512k cap number.
It doesn't seem like much, but that 600k could have made an impact at the deadline. It is possible - though not likely - that Shero could have afforded someone other than Kunitz or Guerin if he had wanted them, rather than relying on the gift of IR time from Ryan Whitney, Sergei Gonchar and Phillipe Boucher to be able to afford them.
Again, not suggesting anything would have happened differently, just wondering why.
Marc-Andre Fleury has played great lately, but he's also played in 17 consecutive games now with many of tough contests ahead. Nine of Pittsburgh's remaining 14 games are against teams fighting for a playoff spot. Three of those nine games are against division leaders.
So again my question...why did we trade for a more expensive bench warmer?
I don't want to mess with the momentum (Pittsburgh is 12-4-1 over the last 17, and 9-1-1 under Dan Bylsma, but there's no better time than the next two weeks to play Garon.
On Saturday the Penguins play Ottawa, one of the few remaining games on the Penguins schedule that is not against a playoff contender. Perfect chance to rest Fleury, especially with a home game against Boston the very next night. If Garon is really that much better than Sabourin he should get the chance to play. It might even be helpful to Fleury if Garon plays next Tuesday against Atlanta or next Friday against Los Angeles.
Pittsburgh is good enough to win both of those games regardless of whether Garon or Fleury is in net. Advantages of not playing Fleury for those two games: reduce the risk of injury to your starter right before the playoffs, Fleury is well rested for the Penguins final big road trip (Apr. 4 to Apr. 9 against Carolina, Florida and Tampa Bay). Advantages to playing Fleury: I can only think of one advantage and that is that the team is on fire and Fleury has played every game of this streak. When you're trying to make the playoffs and every point counts it makes it that much more important to play your best players.
Again I'm not saying Garon is some amazing goalie, but if you're going to take on a backup that's making twice as much as your previous backup he had better be twice as good. If he is twice as good then he should be playing more, not less, than the guy he is replacing. If he's not going to play then put him on waivers and assign him to the AHL (if no one else claims him) and call up someone else to get the same benchwarming experience for less money.