Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Auld demoted

Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have assigned goaltender Alex Auld to the San Antonio Rampage, the Coyotes’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate. Auld, 26, has posted a 3-6-0 record with a 3.54 goals against average (GAA) and .880 save percentage (SV%) in nine games for the Coyotes this season.
>> team release
One would think, between Auld and David Aebischer, that San Antonio would have the best goaltending tandem in the AHL this season. What this means for David LeNeveau and Josh Tordjman, who have played well down there, I don't know.

The Coyotes' off-season strategy of bringing in three low-rent netminders seems to have worked well so far, as only the one who played the best, Mikhail Tellqvist, remains with the big club, and they've spent very little in giving the other two NHL auditions.

There are several NHL-calibre tenders in the minors now, including Brian Boucher, Pekka Rinne, Marek Schwarz, Al Montoya, Yann Danis and Jaroslav Halak.

11 Comments:

At 2:14 PM, November 20, 2007, Blogger saskhab said...

Brian Boucher isn't NHL calibre, hence the reason he could only find an AHL only contract.

One guy who very well could be NHL caliber is Scott Clemmensen, who just never got much of a shot despite actually being in the NHL for 3 years.

I wonder if Aebischer or Auld will get a contract offer with a Russian club. Meanwhile, Josh Tordjman, the guy in their system that no one talks about, continues to get the majority of the Rampage's starts. I wonder what his ego is like right now... he's either thinking he's getting screwed by the Coyotes out of a NHL job or that he's the only guy on his way up in the organization, as everyone else gets bumped down.

And James, the definition of NHL calibre must be adjusted. If you're making only $600,000 a year and get waived by the Coyotes, and no other team picks you up, you probably aren't NHL calibre. If each team has 2 goalies they think are better than you, you aren't NHL calibre.

Let's just face the fact that the goaltending standard has been set higher.

 
At 2:21 PM, November 20, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

There are just fewer jobs now, too, with many teams not even using their backups at all (San Jose, Calgary, etc.).

Boucher played the past nine years almost exclusively in the NHL, and he's been very good in the AHL this season. If you're using the definition "NHL calibre" to only mean guys that are currently in the league, that's not going to make for much of an analysis.

 
At 2:27 PM, November 20, 2007, Anonymous nebcanuck said...

Also, it's kind of sad when you would have us believe that a man who once led his team to the semi-finals and also holds the single longest shutout streak in NHL history isn't NHL-caliber. Consistent? Maybe not. But he's got the talent, if only he could use it!

 
At 2:40 PM, November 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Auld and Bertuzzi for Luongo. Way to go, Keenan.

Luongo and Jokinen for Parrish and Kvasha. Way to go, Milbury.

There's a reason why Milbury and Keenan are not GMs anymore.

There's a reason why Auld, Aebisher and others are in the minors.

 
At 2:42 PM, November 20, 2007, Blogger Pete said...

What happens to Josh Tordjman, who won the AHL goaltender of the month award for October with the Rampage? Will he be their third goalie or does get sent to the ECHL or elsewhere?

 
At 2:44 PM, November 20, 2007, Blogger saskhab said...

Also, it's kind of sad when you would have us believe that a man who once led his team to the semi-finals and also holds the single longest shutout streak in NHL history isn't NHL-caliber. Consistent? Maybe not. But he's got the talent, if only he could use it!

Injuries and confidence play a large role in guiding such talent, though. I mean, by the definition
you give, Grant Fuhr is still a NHL caliber goalie. After all, he once guided a team to 4 Cups!

And as far as I can tell James, there are as many jobs in the NHL as there have been in history.

It may seem odd that a team would rather sit a 24 year old rookie at the end of the bench like San Jose instead of a guy like Aebischer, but hey, that's the game now. Fact is, there is little to distinguish between a guy of Aebischer, Boucher, or Patzold's ability.

The fact is, the career backup is a dying breed. For a team to make a meaningful commitment to you, you must be able to show the ability/potential to play at a high level for extended periods fot time. If you cannot handle that, the league will pass you by. You'll have to catch on to the life of the new age journeyman and pack your bags for Europe for a few years and hope you find a level of comfort with an organization you probably never knew existed (at least for North American goalies).

So in a lot of ways, I think you almost have to say there are LESS than 60 goalies who are NHL caliber. Some are just along for a short ride.

If guys like Boucher, Auld, and Aebischer now look no better (and maybe no worse) than Josh Tordjman, I think the term is too liberally used.

 
At 2:52 PM, November 20, 2007, Blogger Bruce said...

Brian Boucher isn't NHL calibre, hence the reason he could only find an AHL only contract.

I'm with you on that one, saskhab, in recent years I considered Boucher to be the worst goalie in the NHL, shutout streak or no shutout streak. That was one of the fluke accomplishments of all time; in the three seasons 2002-06 Boucher played 99 GP and racked up a total of, wait for it, five shutouts.

His career save percentage of .897 in the "dead puck" era is simply not up to NHL standard. He had a promising rookie season (inc. playoffs) with the Flyers in 1999-2000, but NHL shooters were able to solve him thereafter. In my view he is not a sound technical goaltender.

 
At 2:54 PM, November 20, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

No one's calling him a world beater; I just think he could sit on the bench with a team somewhere and contribute.

Not that those guys are being asked to at this point.

 
At 5:40 PM, November 20, 2007, Blogger Pinder said...

I think Auld is on a two-way contract, so it makes sense with Bryzgalov there now.

Also, most Canucks fan get a pleasure in seeing ex-Canucks fail.

 
At 6:20 PM, November 20, 2007, Blogger Menzies said...

I wouldn't say all Canuck fans get pleasure in seeing ex-canucks fail. Ex-canucks coaches, however, different story.

Goaltending case in point: Garth Snow and Johan Hedburg. I would have loved to see Johan Hedburg excel in another environment.

 
At 7:47 PM, November 20, 2007, Anonymous Lucas Aykroyd said...

On that note, James, I couldn't help noticing that your list of NHL-calibre tenders in the minors doesn't include Dan Cloutier of the Manchester Monarchs.

It's been an incredible tumble for a three-time 30-game winner.

 

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