According to a tweet bt TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Dallas Stars have waived journeyman back-up Alex Auld today. The former Senator/Canuck (etc.) is having a below average season in the South this year, posting an .894 SV% in in 21 games played. That’s the worst save rate the 29 year old has managed in the last 3 seasons, having posted a .911 SV% in OTT and a .919 SV% in BOS previously.
.894 isn’t very good, nor is the .902 even strength SV% Auld has garnered this year. What both those stats are, though, is superior to Curtis McElhinney’s abysmal (.885 SV% and .874 ES SV%) results thus far. I was something of an apologist for the young goalie this off-season, saying simply that he hadn’t played enough for the team to get a read on whether he was a viable NHL goalie or not. Unfortunately, another year of marginal play suggests that McElhinney isn’t – and may never be – a capable puckstopper at this level. Even in a back-up position.
Let’s be clear – the Flames have other issues of concern and the fact of the matter is, Kipper is going to get the bulk of the starts down the stretch and all of them in the post-season (god willing). A back-up in Calgary is little more than a reliever when things go south or an insurance policy should the unthinkable happen and Kipper get injured. On top of that the Flames don’t have a lot of assests to go hunting for a top quality back-up at this point in time. So while Auld represents a rather marginal upgrade on what they have in McElhinney now, the fact of the matter is he’s more experienced, more proven and extremely cheap to acquire (as in…free) at the moment (his $1M cap-hit, prorated to this point of the season is about 250k, meaning it’s inconsequential).
If Darryl is looking to firm up the back-up position in the short-term, Auld might be the ideal candidate.