Teams looking to add goaltender depth with their AHL affiliate in mind are seeing their shopping list get shorter and shorter as the UFA season continues. 9 UFA goalies who will probably spend the year on the farm have been inked to contracts already and that leaves about 10 guys for other teams to zero in on.
For a team like the Edmonton Oilers who have 26-year-old Jeff Deslauriers and 24-year-old Devan Dubnyk creating a NHL logjam, acquiring a player who could be a veteran keeper on the farm appears to be the plan. Dany Sabourin and Joey MacDonald are off the market but represent the kind of player the team is probably in search of.
The option to bring in a younger goalie exists although it's been suggested to me that grabbing a younger netminder would be more of a 'Plan B' strategy if the team struck out getting a vet puck stopper.
So who is left on the open market?
Is Patrick Lalime someone who would accept a minor league only deal or would you have to give him a clause that would take up one of those valuable 50 NHL contracts? He just turned 36 (today as a matter of fact) so fits the job description as a veteran. He's played sparingly over the last five seasons so probably wouldn't be much of a waiver wire risk.
32-year-old Steve Valiquette has been in the organization before but he hasn't played much recently because he'd been in the NHL with the Rangers behind Henrik Lundqvist. Last year he lost his spot apparently due to economics but he also didn't play much on the farm.
What about Wade Dubielewicz? Yann Danis?
Scott Munroe might provide an interesting, under-the-radar choice. He's spent the last 4 years in the AHL and has put up decent numbers with the Philly Phantoms (PHI) and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI). Un-drafted and coming out of the mighty Alabama-Huntsville NCAA program, Munroe probably doesn't yet have the reputation that his numbers suggest he might be worthy of, at least at the AHL level.
Young guys who might get consideration include former Vermont Catamount keeper Joe Fallon, Moncton Wildcat Josh Tordjman and Columbus 2004 3rd rounder Dan Lacosta. All would probably clear waivers with less difficulty than either Dubnyk or Deslauriers and have had decent seasons in the AHL.
If signing a UFA doesn't do it, the team could always go out an acquire a minor league netminder via trade, possibly a RFA goalie that has experience at the AHL level.
If you're an Oiler fan, who do you want to see the team sign to stop pucks in Oklahoma City?