Oilers Sign Martin Gerber

At first this looks like an odd signing. The Oilers have 3 goalies. Two of these in Deslauriers and Dubnyk are young and fit the mold on a kids getting the majority of the time style team. To boot, both also have newly and barely dry inked deals.

The Oilers also have a veteran in Nikolai Khabibulin, who to say the least, has a future that is somewhat up in the air. It's not so much that the Oilers are 50/50 on getting rid of Bulin (if onl it were that easy). It's that his court dates continue to be pushed back and the only way Edmonton can move his contract off the books, is if the result of those court rulings result in some time behind bars for the former Stanley Cup winning netminder. Even the specifics on that are foggy.

So with three goalies, all of whom are likely to see time with the Oilers this season, why would Edmonton sign another aging veteran for $500,00 dollars? Simple. The uncertainty of the situation.

Gerber comes from the KHL where he spent that last season after some time in Ottawa and Carolina. His track record is shaky at best and he's not by any stretch, a number one goalie. His age, his past performance and his cache around the league make him a good fit in Edmonton only at this time and on this team.

Gerber signed a two-way deal. Meaning he can move up and down between the NHL and the AHL. Waivers play somewhat of a role here, but what other NHL team, with a number of more suitable options still on the UFA market, would claim Gerber off waivers? Even if by some stretch they did, how much would it really impact Edmonton's future? None.

Gerber brings a much better option the AHL than the unproven goalies currently in the system. It was an area Tambellini needed to address after taking care of many other holes on the Barons roster. If Gerber sees time in the NHL, he's motivated to perform. He brings enough game action and experience that in the event Bulin is gone or hurt (both possibilites) and Deslauriers and Dubnyk crap the bed (also both possibilites), Gerber can be called up and is a reliable option.

No, Gerber is not the ideal situation when all else fails. But, all else shouldn't fail at the same time, thus Gerber becomes a piece of a tandum puzzle.

With the uncertainty in Edmonton and Oklahoma, Geber makes some sense. He has a name to back him for kids who need to be comfortable that their goalie can handle the job. He has a Stanley Cup finals run in his back pocket (even though he wasn't the key factor in that run), and he knows the game well. At $500,000 dollars, he also doesn't create any kind of financial cap burden.

Those viewing this signing as writing on the wall in the Khabibulin situation are likely off. Moreso, this tells us the Oilers don't know what's happening here. Because they don't know and their other options are young and younger, Gerber makes sense.


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