Oilers Trade Garon to Pittsburgh

Jonathan Willis
January 17 2009 01:55PM

Well, we’ve seen the first real trade of the Steve Tambellini era. In a time where NHL goaltenders are being dropped for nothing on the waiver wire (Sanford) or garnering no more than a 7th round pick (Labarbera), Tambellini actually managed to bring in a decent return. Here’s the trade:

To Pittsburgh: Mathieu Garon

To Edmonton: Dany Sabourin, Ryan Stone, 4th Round Pick

First, from Pittsburgh’s perspective, they obviously believe that Garon has the potential to play better than he has this past season. Garon had a strong game last night against Colorado, and started the year well, but there has been obvious friction between him and the coaching staff, especially goaltending coach Pete Peeters. Pittsburgh’s struggled with poor goaltending all season; Marc-Andre Fleury’s .905 SV% isn’t nearly as good as it needs to be, while veteran backup Dany Sabourin is four games below .500 and has an .898 SV%. Garon is in the final season of a two-year, 1.1M/season contract, and although he’s posted a .895 SV% this season, the past two years he’s had a .907 SV% and .913 SV%. This is a good opportunity for Garon to get back on track on a very talented team.

As far as I can tell, Dany Sabourin is on a one-way contract, albeit one that will pay him a very modest 512K this season, which is its final year. I think that he is sent down to Springfield, where he should help spell the extremely over-worked Devan Dubnyk, and solidify Springfield’s goaltending situation. Sabourin’s an average NHL backup (hovering around the .900 SV% mark the last three seasons) but he’s been excellent in the AHL, topping the .920 SV% mark his last three seasons there. By comparison, Dubnyk’s played nearly every game for Springfield, posting a .903 SV% this season. Additionally, Sabourin serves as built in insurance if Jeff Deslauriers falters over more games.

Ryan Stone is the key player coming back. He was a second-round pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, and likely would have been picked higher if not for a concussion that affected his season. Here’s what the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said about him after his selection:

Stone explained his resume in similar terms. Asked how many of his two dozen fights he had lost, he replied: "I haven't lost too many." Despite narrowly missing being a first-round pick, Stone is a project. His top priority, as he allowed, is improving his skating, a common criticism among scouts. Stone is viewed as a player in the mold of Brad May or Darren McCarty, owning the potential to develop his skills to a respectable level and having the edge to create enough room for himself to make it happen. He is versatile, having spent time on left wing and the power-play point. He also has been praised for helping Brandon win at least two playoff rounds in each of his two years there.

Stone is a restricted free agent after this season. He hasn’t scored at a high level in the AHL; back in 2006-07 he was on pace for his best season offensively when a nasty hand injury forced him out of the line-up. He is a very physical player, not shy about fighting, and is widely regarded as a two-way forward.

The 4th round pick is, as Lowetide says “another bullet in the gun”, but by itself it is a better return than Los Angeles got for the very comparable Jason Labarbera.

The only way I can see this trade is as a hands-down win for the Edmonton Oilers, and also for Mathieu Garon. Anybody who thought they were going to get more than this is greatly overvaluing Garon; in fact, if you’d told me yesterday that this trade was going to happen, I wouldn’t have believed it.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
Avatar
#101 Jonathan Willis
January 18 2009, 10:03AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I like Lecavalier, but swapping Hemsky for him would hamstring this franchise financially.

Besides, while Lecavalier' a better offensive performer, Hemsky's a better hockey player.

Avatar
#102 Chris
January 18 2009, 10:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ gipper: I'm kind of kidding. I generally don't get involved in discussions like these... and here I am initiating one. There are bloggers in 29 other markets speculating about what they would give for Vinny Lecavlier. When I say I would trade Hemskey, however, I am serious. You always win the trade when you get the best player... Vinny is a top 5 forward in this league. Hemskey is not.

In my dream world, however; the Oilers could send either Gagner or Cogliano, Sabourin or Deslaurier, and a pile of picks for Lecavlier. A trade like this would be a win-win for both organizations remebering each group has differnt objectives right now... I suspect, though, that Montreal will be in a position to offer more. If the Habs want to bankrupt their future for a shot at the cup on their 100th anniversary; How can Tambo stop them?

Avatar
#103 Chris
January 18 2009, 10:17AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jonathan Willis wrote:

Besides, while Lecavalier’ a better offensive performer, Hemsky’s a better hockey player.

LOL! Pass the glue! Save your stats...Vinny is on a brutal team! Hemskey vs Iginla or LECAVLIER vs Iginla.

Sorry I'm out for breakfast with the family. Looking forward to checking on this thread later.

Avatar
#104 Jonathan Willis
January 18 2009, 10:29AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Chris wrote:

LOL! Pass the glue! Save your stats…Vinny is on a brutal team! Hemskey vs Iginla or LECAVLIER vs Iginla.

Hemsky. Each and every time.

Avatar
#105 442Junkie
January 18 2009, 10:42AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

So If Roli has been the best goalie all year can anyone explain to me how he managed to lose all three of his first starts? Where as Garon won all three of his first starts. Garon did go into the tamk but all of the media in the city were giving it a resounding "it sure hasn't been the goaltending that has been losing them games." Npw I'm not saying Roli hasn't been good for the last fifteen to twenty games but he was given that ball to run with after a mediocre start to the season.

Garon lost his starting gig to the coaches guy, plain and simple. He wasn't out performed.

Any of you who think he was need to look back at the start of the season and see that although he was anointed the starter he was never really given the job. It's always been Roli's they were just trying to appease the fans.

I am now officially on the fire MacT and the whole coaching staff bandwagon. Pete Peters only developed Conklin and Markenen. Good back ups. Maybe that's why this team is in love with back-ups so much...

Let the attack of the Roli backers begin. I still say it was never Garon's job to lose.

Avatar
#106 Smokin' Ray
January 18 2009, 10:57AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

GAME DAY PEOPLE!!!

Avatar
#107 Ender the Dragon
January 18 2009, 11:10AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Chris wrote:

LOL! Pass the glue! Save your stats…Vinny is on a brutal team! Hemskey vs Iginla or LECAVLIER vs Iginla.

I'm with JW on this. Even without talking about salary (a big consideration), Hemsky is a more complete player. Love him or hate him, MacT has forced every member of the Oilers to think defensively every shift. While many teams urge their forwards to win the Rocket Richard, MacT coaches to win the Selke. As a result, Hemsky might not quite match Vinnie's total points this season, but he's far more reliable to have on the ice against top opposition. Now factor in the salary savings, and Hemsky's the clearly superior value. I'd give up a lot for Lacavlier, but not Hemsky.

Avatar
#108 Peso de Setenta y Cinco
January 18 2009, 11:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Smokin' Ray wrote:

GAME DAY PEOPLE!!!

I am fortunate enough to go to another retirement game against Pheonix. Hopefully this one is better than the Messier game.

4th time that Oilers have played Pheonix in a jersey retirement game. Kurri - Oct 6 2001 Win (6-2) Coffee - Oct 18 2006 Loss (4-3) Messier - Feb 27 2007 Loss (3-0)

Got to win this one to get to .500 in retiement games against the Dogs. We need this game to keep our hopes of play-offs alive too.

Avatar
#109 CurtisS
January 18 2009, 11:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Ender the Dragon:

You guys here honestly think Hemsky is a better player than Vinny.

Holy take off the Oil covered glasses for a minute.

A rocket richard trophy winner. A stanley cup. 28 years old only. Hes accomplished more in his career already than hemsky will ever do.

Settle down.

Avatar
#110 Bob Sakimano
January 18 2009, 11:37AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hemsky over Lecavalier is an easy one. Hemsky all the way. he's younger(more upside), better defensively as stated above, and is everybit the point per game player this year that Lacavalier is. If the Oilers can get Lecavaler, do what ever it takes. Here is what I would offer TB. To TB: Horcoff, Grebeshkov, Schremp or Dubnyk and 2 picks. To Edm: Lecavalier That is just an idea

Avatar
#111 CurtisS
January 18 2009, 11:46AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Bob Sakimano:

Hemsky cant even tie Vinny's skates.

Avatar
#112 CurtisS
January 18 2009, 11:55AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Did I forget to say

Vinny will be a Hall of Famer

Hemsky not so much

Avatar
#113 CurtisS
January 18 2009, 12:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Jonathon

I want you to ask

Hemsky vs Vinny on LTs blog comments. See what everyone there figures?

Avatar
#114 Bob Sakimano
January 18 2009, 12:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

CurtisS wrote:

Hemsky cant even tie Vinny’s skates

What are you drunk!!! Go look at the numbers and compare the two at the point where Hemsky is at too where Lecavalier was at the same point in his career and the numbers are similar with the exception of goals because untill this year Hemsky was shooting less. Vinny has twice as many point true, but he's been in the league 5 years longer than Hemsky, and with the exception of Vinny's 108 pt year in 2006-07, he hasn't exaclty ripped it up stats wise. There both team first guys and great players, but I would still take Hemsky because of his potential upside.

Avatar
#115 me
January 18 2009, 12:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ 442Junkie:

Have you watched the whole season?

Garon was awful most of the year. He lost his job because he was inferior.

He has never been able to be a number one goaltender for ANY team over the long haul.

He has been traded five times.

This is not some kind of conspiracy, they played the better goaltender. It it that simple.

Avatar
#116 ron
January 18 2009, 12:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I would not take Vincent over Hemsky, if Hemsky was not injured his numbers would be better than Vinny's and he is not yet in his prime.

Avatar
#117 CurtisS
January 18 2009, 12:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Bob Sakimano:

Come on now. Honestly.

Hemsky has more upside?? I want you to explain. Hemsky is only 3 years younger than Vinny. He cant even get over 20 goals or get over a ppg.

Vinny has been a allstar how many times?? Hemsky how many? Canada Oylmipic team....hemmer wouldnt get a sniff for team canada.Rocket richard winner. Hemsky will never get 30 goals. Vinny with a cup ring by the time he was 23. Um hemsky not so much.

Do you want more. We could start at the age of 16 and compare that Vinny's #'s, they have been greater than Hemsky's every year.

Yet you say hes a better player. Come on now. Be honest at least.

Avatar
#118 CurtisS
January 18 2009, 12:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ ron:

Remember when Vinny wasnt in his prime yet he lead his team to a stanely cup. 23 Years old.

What a joke on here.

Avatar
#119 Jonathan Willis
January 18 2009, 12:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ CurtisS:

I disagree with you, but I've got a post coming up that has a full explanation of my view, so I'm going to wait until it's posted before I get into it more.

Over at LT's, Vinny vs. Hemsky's been discussed; I recall maybe 1 or 2 folks interested. Nobody wants to swap that contract.

In point of fact, over there I'm probably the biggest advocate of acquiring Lecavalier, because I think he fits a role on this team. Others - not so much.

Avatar
#120 Dave
January 18 2009, 12:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

CurtisS

It is better to be thought a fool than open their mouth and remove all doubt.

Have a nice day.

Avatar
#121 Bob Sakimano
January 18 2009, 01:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ CurtisS: Why I think Hemsky has better upside? Age and Lack of elite linemates for Hemsky, I mean come on how do Horcoff, Smyth and Penner even compare to Richards and St. Louis. The closest thing Hemmer had was Sykora to a sniper. Hemsky is a not a shooter and will never be up for the Rocket Richard trophy. Would of had 25 goals this year if not hurt. Hemsky= 22 made SCF game 7. Lecavalier= 23 won SC We wont agree, and I now have better things to go do.

Avatar
#122 442Junkie
January 18 2009, 01:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ me: Watched the whole season? He's appeared in what 16 games. I watched, in person, him play the first two home games of the year. Then he lost to Vancouver and was shaky in a few other starts. MacT started the goalie shuffle. He went over a month without a start because, Peters said he didn't like what he saw in practice. If I may quote AI "PRACTICE!?! Not a game, Practice..."

Roli is known in the locker room as the Vets goalie. The vets are back in charge from last years end where the kids were running hot. Now look at the team. If you ask some the sky is falling because they're not 40 games over .500. I just don't think he was given the opportunity this year that Roli was given last. Not a conspiracy just a fact.

Garon sure wasn't terrible against the Av's on Friday. Unlike Roli's brutal game the night before and the soft goals he let in against the Sharks a week ago Friday. I won't even bring up the Detroit game here at Rexall in November...

Roli isn't the better goalie, he's just the one that got the green light from the coach. Oh well, chances are good that neither will be here next year anyway. And this won't matter.

Avatar
#123 Micheal
January 18 2009, 01:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

CurtisS wrote:

@ CurtisS Canada Oylmipic team….hemmer wouldnt get a sniff for team canada.

You are right... Hemsky wouldn't get a sniff at Team Canada. But neither would Ovechkin, Malkin or Datsyuk... You need to be Canadian. But he has played for the Czech Republic!

Avatar
#124 rindog
January 18 2009, 02:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ me:

And when has Roli been a #1 guy in the NHL?

The only time Roli was ever a #1 guy was when we handed him a gross contract after a playoff run and had Maarkanen as our other option.

Roli proceeded to play like a donkey for the next 2 seasons and got outplayed by this inconsistent, underacheiving, journeyman named Garon you guys speak of.

Why was everyone so quick to dismiss Garon this year? Were you guys all willing to punt Roli after last season?

How come Roli got his chance to redeem himself at 39+ years old and at the end of his career?

Why wouldn't the Oilers want to give another shot to a younger more athletic guy that has a similar style to the new guy they have (JDD)?

For those of you that think Roli has been so stellar and Garon has been so terrible, it should be noted that since Garon got pulled in Pittsburgh earlier this year (very early) he has made 8 appearances and stopped 19 of the 207 shots he has faced.

In Roli's last 8 appearances he has faced 215 shots and let in 22 goals.

Considering that Roli has been able to play frequently and with less pressure on him - is he really outplaying Garon?

Maybe if Garon was given 3 or 4 starts in a row he could have gotten an a roll and we all would be saying how well he was playing playing. Then again, maybe he wouldn't have...I guess we will never know???

Avatar
#125 rindog
January 18 2009, 02:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Fiveandagame wrote:

Last year we all saw how great Garon was, but he hardly stole any games for us. He made great saves and was great in the shootout….but we were in a shootout, meaning he hardly slammed the door on the other team.

He hardly stole us any games???

Did you watch the same games we all did last year?

Avatar
#126 rindog
January 18 2009, 02:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ CurtisS:

I am the biggest Hemsky supporter around....you can vouch for that Curt.

Vinnie for Hemsky in a heartbeat.

The only thing about making a deal like that is that it doesn't get us any further ahead. We need to add a guy like Vinnie and be able to keep Hemsky as well.

Horcoff is the guy that needs to used as bait (in some sort of package). Unfortunately I think almost every other NHL club sees what our management doesn't.

Horcoff isn't really a very good player.....

Avatar
#127 Travis Dakin
January 18 2009, 04:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Micheal wrote:

CurtisS wrote: @ CurtisS Canada Oylmipic team….hemmer wouldnt get a sniff for team canada. You are right… Hemsky wouldn’t get a sniff at Team Canada. But neither would Ovechkin, Malkin or Datsyuk… You need to be Canadian. But he has played for the Czech Republic!

You're joking right?

Avatar
#128 Jonathan Willis
January 18 2009, 04:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

rindog wrote:

We need to add a guy like Vinnie and be able to keep Hemsky as well.

We have a winner!

Comments are closed for this article.