The Edmonton Oilers have signed goaltender Jeff Deslauriers to a one-year contract.
Deslauriers, 26, took hold of the club’s starting goal-tending assignment, after veteran Nikolai Khabibulin went on the IR with a back injury. In 48 games, Deslauriers posted a respectable 16-28-4 record last year with a telling .901 save percentage on a team that had trouble providing him with any goal support.
With the Deslauriers signing, the Oilers now boast three potential number-one netminders; The Bulin Wall, Devan Dubnyk and Deslaurier. Expect Oilers’ GM Steve Tambellini to attempt to trade one of the three prior to the opening of the team’s pre-season camp in September.
Deslaurier, who has proven he can be an every-day NHL goaltender, may very well be the odd man out here. Throwing both caution and speculation to the wind, Tambellini could decide that Khabibulin, who is currently facing a DUI charge in Arizona, is the proverbial sacrificial lamb, as he continues to rid his young locker room of any distractions.
For my money, Dubnyk, who showed signs of both brilliance and consistency in a back-up roll for Edmonton last season, is the tender Oilers Nation should be most excited about.
Good things lie ahead for this young man, a netminder Tambellini would be wise to hold on to.
In the meantime Oiler fans, keep your chins up and your sticks down.
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.