Friday, September 21, 2007

Cloutier on waivers

The Los Angeles Kings placed goaltender Dan Cloutier on waivers Friday with the intention of sending him to Manchester of the AHL.

CKNW in Vancouver is reporting that Cloutier will not accompany the team to London, England for their September 29th game against the Ducks.
A very smart move by the Kings, who will now be well under the salary cap and poised to let someone like Jason LaBarbera get a shot at starting duties in the NHL this season.

Cloutier is due to make $3.1-million both this season and next, and instantly becomes the most expensive player in the AHL.

I wonder if this means Jonathan Bernier will stay with the big club, or if Jean-Sebastien Aubin has somehow managed to find another backup gig after imploding in Toronto. Swedish import Erik Ersberg is the other option, although he was sent to Manchester already this week.

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At 2:52 p.m., September 21, 2007, Blogger saskhab said...

They could simply be waiving him to put him on re-entry waivers. They have the cap space to absorb that hit, although it's for the next 2 years.

Of course, why would anyone want Cloutier for $1.55m for the next 2 years?

At 2:53 p.m., September 21, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

No one will. Not coming off a year with an .860 save percentage.

At 3:39 p.m., September 21, 2007, Anonymous Dennis Prouse said...

I suspect Cloutier has played his last NHL game. The article references the fact that he hasn't fully recovered from his hip injury. How long has it been now? If he hasn't recovered now, he never will. I wouldn't be surprised if the Kings seek a long term injury exemption for him, and buy him out that way. Either that, or he'll just rot in the AHL this year, and get bought out next summer.

At 4:09 p.m., September 21, 2007, Anonymous Jeff said...

Let's put aside the fact that Cloutier would have to be insane to pass up $6 million dollars. Let's instead assume he's married to Paris Hilton or something.

Could a player voluntarily rip up his contract and play for the minimum? Could Cloutier declare that playing in the NHL is so important to him he'd forgo his old contract and sign a new one?

At 4:24 p.m., September 21, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I don't think the union would ever allow a player to do that.

At 5:26 p.m., September 21, 2007, Anonymous said...

Off topic, but why doesn't Colorado try to dump that plug Theodore and his 6 million dollars a year? No one would pick him up at that price, but maybe on re-entry? Otherwise they should send him to the minors or buy him out. They are going to struggle in that division this year, and imagine what a 6 million dollar defenseman could do compared to a benchwarmer

At 5:41 p.m., September 21, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

That's a good point. I guess they still think he can rebound, and the team did very well with Budaj as starter in the second half of last season.

At 3:54 p.m., September 22, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

I'm betting this means LA signs CUJO within the next week

At 5:47 p.m., September 22, 2007, Anonymous Alec said...

It means Bernier is sticking with the club, he's been the best goalie in camp.

At 5:53 p.m., September 22, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Given he's only 19, other factors come into play other than how he's fared over a short stint in camp/preseason. I bet they go with LaBarbera/Aubin to start (or perhaps give Bernier a 10-game audition).

At 6:36 p.m., September 22, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

I agree with you James. LA would be nuts to go with Bernier as a full time back-up.

Mentally, goalies are very fragile at this stage of their development. If the kid gets "lit up" for 3 or 4 games in a row he might lose his confidence and have a hard time getting it back.

Also, at this stage of his development he needs a lot of work to get even better and sitting on the bench as a back-up will only stunt his development.

Finally, if he suits up for more than 14 games (or is it 10?) during the season you use up the first year of his entry level contract and he could become a free agent as early as 25.

Therefore its a no brainer he will be sent back to junior before the 10 or 14 game mark.

I can't think of an elite goalie in the NHL who went directly from junior to the NHL before turning 20(do you have any stats on this?).

Luongo after using his full junior eligbility (ie. age 20) spent the first half of his first year in the pros in the AHL before being called up.

After turning 20 Brodeur spent his first full year in the AHL.

And DiPietro spent 2 years in the AHL before being called up.

In this regard Montreal is making the right decision by starting Price in the AHL.

I can see LaBarbera as a starter but Aubin doesn't provide enough insurance in case LaBarbera starts to faulter.

Therefore, I believe LA will sign CUJO who would be content starting 35 games and act as a good mentor for LaBarbera.

I would suggest Belfour, but he would probably punch-out LaBarbera so that he could be the starter!!

At 7:07 p.m., September 25, 2007, Blogger Jonathan said...

"The Los Angeles Kings held off Austrian Erste Bank Liga club EC Red Bull Salzburg by a 7-6 score at the Red Bulls Salute tournament in Salzburg, Austria.

Salzburg grabbed a quick 3-0 lead early in the first period. 37-year-old defenseman Martin Ulrich, a longtime veteran of the Austrian national team, dialed up a slapper on the powerplay. On the next shift, Fast hammered a one-time past LaBarbera. Less than a minute later, Banham ripped a shot past LaBarbera.

At that point, the Kings made a goaltending switch, with Jean-Sebastien Aubin talking over for LaBabera, who finished without making a single save."

It's just one preseason game, but I can't imagine that Crawford is filled with confidence in LaBarbera right now...


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