Shields to aid the Thrashers?
Not yet nine games into the season, the Atlanta Thrashers are already using their third and fourth goaltenders, two rookies who have struggled behind a porous Thrasher defence.
In desperation, Don Waddell has extended an invitation to veteran netminder Steve Shields to possibly serve as a stopgap solution while starters Mike Dunham and Kari Lehtonen recover from injury (Dunhan is said to be close to returning). My dearest old friend Duhatschek says:
Rather than trade for a netminder (Mika Noronen of the Buffalo Sabres?), they elected to bring in Steve Shields on a tryout. Shields is scheduled to play for Atlanta's farm team Saturday and at that point, the Thrashers could sign him to a contract for (or near) the NHL minimum and put him in the line-up early next week.Shields did, in fact, make his debut with the Chicago Wolves in the AHL on Saturday and was the game's first star in a 2-1 loss.
A journeyman if there ever was one, Shields has actually had some decent performances in his NHL career, most notably a 27-win year in 1999-00 with San Jose, and could help Atlanta by giving them at least one veteran in goal to turn to.
Shields began the season on a tryout with the Ducks, but after losing out to Ilya Bryzgalov because of a shoulder injury, began the wait for one team to run into injury problems. If things don't pan out in Atlanta, the 32-year-old Shields may find himself an AHL regular for the first time since 1996-97.
Although I do hear the Oilers need a goalie.