Alex Auld, Back-up Solution

Dallas Stars v Phoenix Coyotes


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.

  • Jean Lefebvre

    With only two back-to-backs the rest of the way, there's a chance Kiprusoff will keep playing until the Flames have officially clinched or have been eliminated. Given their current situation, that will happen in either Game 81 or 82.

  • Certainly. In fact, there's a chance the backup, whoever he is, doesn't play again this year.

    When people suggested earlier this year the Flames needed to trade for another puckstopper I scoffed…I figured it wasn't worth the effort (unless the asking price was extremely nominal). However, for free, I figure it might be worth bringing in a more capable guy. Just in case.

  • If they don't claim him I will be p*ssed! They NEED to address the goaltending situation. I don't care who it is (as there's many options), but if they can get a capable guy for 'free', then they shouldn't hesitate.

  • Kent, a question: What do .894 SV% and 'capable goaltender' have to do with each other?

    I dont see the need for it, especially when the guy might not play at all this year. The Mac Attack is signed next year, at 500k, and you say Auld made a million dollars this year to post .894 SV%?

    We bring in Auld and Mac goes on waivers and if he gets picked up we have to get a new backup next year and if he goes through he never comes back up and we have to get a new backup next year. Auld will not be the backup here next year because A) he sucks and b) we dont have a million dollars in cap space allocated for a crappy backup. We barely have 500k allocated for a crappy backup.

    That Mac sucks, no question. He shouldnt be brought back. More money ownership gets to burn!

    In short, I dont think replacing crap with more crap solves anything. One of the thousands of goalies GM Sutter has drafted is going to have to step up next year. And this year, the backup shouldnt play (see the first rule of holes).

    Business Law midterm…out

    Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

    • 1.) Auld's stats this year, suck but he's had some success in the league which suggests this is a low point for him. CuMac, on the other hand, has never done anything of note in the NHL.

      2.) His results, as bad as they are, are still better than the Flames current back-up

      3.) Cap considerations are moot this season. Next year, the Flames could promote Keetley or Irving or sign one of the other hundreds of available guys for cheap.

      4.) No one will pick-up McElhinney on waivers.

      The back-up is an insurance policy in case something happens to Kipper. Nothing more. It'll cost the Flames zero to add Auld to the roster and he's demonstrably better than McElhinney. If the Flames had a draft pick or two to invest in a superior option (say, Martin Biron) I'd say go that route, but I don't think they do.

  • I totally agree… Auld isn't the best option, but I'd take him for nothing over trading even a 4th or 5th rounder for a better one. The reality is "should the unthinkable happen and Kipper is injured" this team is going straight to the golf course with any other goalie not in Vancouver right now, so they may as well hang onto what few picks they've got left.