Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The end for Auld

A year ago at this time goaltender Alex Auld was the heir apparent to Roberto Luongo. Now he's an ex-Panther.

On Monday Auld was left off coach Jacques Martin's list of six players who will receive qualifying offers from the Panthers for the upcoming season.

The team instead signed backup goalie Craig Anderson to a two-year contract believed to be worth slightly more than $1 million.
A lot of people are going to invoke the Luongo trade given this news, and that's fair enough given Auld was one of the trio of players Mike Keenan received for the star netminder. But it should also be noted that Bryan Allen has turned into a top-pairing defender for the Panthers, something that lessens the downright awfulness of that deal slightly.

Oh so slightly.

The move to bring in Tomas Vokoun over the weekend was the end of the line for Auld, which is unfortunate given he has shown some ability as a starter and had earned, I think, at least a job as an NHL backup. Now, it's likely back to the AHL for the youngster.

In conclusion: Florida is a mess of a franchise, and Martin is essentially cleaning up the mess left from previous administrations. Auld's a casualty of that fact, but you can't tell me he isn't a superior backup over Craig Anderson.

The Canucks would do well to reacquire Auld and stick him in behind Luongo for 2007-08.



At 2:25 AM, June 26, 2007, Anonymous Matt Gunn said...

I completely agree. I am about as far away as being an Auld fan as you can get, but no way would I choose Craig Anderson over him. I'd say this is a mistake on Florida's part.

I wouldn't mind Auld returning as the backup in Vancouver, and they wouldn't have to trade anything to acquire him, as he'd be a free agent if not extended a qualifying offer.

At 2:37 AM, June 26, 2007, Blogger mc79hockey said...

He needed to be qualified at $1.475MM. That's a pricy backup, particularly because a) Vokoun likes to play and b) they're paying him what accountants call "a fuckload" of money. I think it makes sense.

That initial trade sure was fucking horrible though. I'll bet the man who made it never works in hockey again.

At 2:45 AM, June 26, 2007, Blogger saskhab said...

Auld will find a backup job somewhere, don't you worry. Hell, Burke might get him for Anaheim.

If he's willing to get back to a lower pay scale, there's jobs for him in the NHL. Or he could always go to Russia if he wants to earn a million bucks that badly.

I mean, what's the goaltending UFA market like right now? A couple of has-beens (Cujo and Belfour), a couple of never-wases (Esche, Aebischer, Sanford), a never should have been (Dunham) and a couple of younger guys with some upside (Garon, Auld).

Good to see Anderson get another shot, though. Breaking into the league on a terrible Chicago team almost killed him. I hope Leighton gets a legit shot in Carolina as well.

At 3:23 AM, June 26, 2007, Blogger McLea said...

That initial trade sure was fucking horrible though. I'll bet the man who made it never works in hockey again.


At 11:24 AM, June 26, 2007, Anonymous Dennis Prouse said...

We all knew that the cap was going to create winners and losers, and probably a greater spread between salaries. I'm not sure anyone thought it would be this dramatic, though. If you are a valued free agent like Hartnell, you are going to cash in huge. If you are deemed to be "too expensive" to be a back-up goalie, like Auld just was, you get tossed out like three day old fish.

The NHL's new world order is pretty clear -- back-up goalies, sixth defencemen, and fourth liners are, with few exceptions, going to be minimum salary guys. This is similar to the NFL, which also has salary slots for the various positions from which they won't budge much. The NFL learned long ago that you can't afford to be paying a backup starter-type money, a lesson that the capped NHL is now learning also.

At 1:21 PM, June 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll bet the man who made it never works in hockey again.

Not a good bet since that man has already been hired by the Calgary Flames.


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