Flyers Begin Addressing Goaltender Depth with Danis SigningBREAKING NEWS, News, NHL Friday, July 5th, 2013
The Philadelphia Flyers addressed the biggest issue of free agency with the signing of Ray Emery to split duties in net with Steve Mason. The organization still has a lack of goaltending depth, though, and began to address that issue with the signing of AHL goaltender Yann Danis to a one year, $670K deal.
Danis, 32, has just 53 games of NHL experience in a ten year career. His longest stint in the big show was in the 2008-09 season, when he earned a 0.910 save percentage with the New York Islanders through 31 games.
He does have 276 career AHL games under his belt, though, and has consistently been one of the best netminders at that level.
He also won the “outstanding goaltender award” for his play with the Oklahama City Barons last season. The Barons, the AHL farm team for the Edmonton Oilers, lost in the Calder Cup Finals to the Grand Rapids Griffins (the Detroit Red Wings’ farm team).
The Flyers had traded for Brian Boucher before the start of the 2013 NHL season in order to have a veteran goaltender available in case of injury, but they never felt confident with him when needed. Danis allowed 7 goals in 110 minutes of play last season with the Oilers, but that’s such a small sample size (and the Oilers that bad a team) that you can pretty much write it off.
At the very least, Danis should have the mental make-up to handle the responsibility of back-up duties if Emery or Mason does get hurt during the season.
Danis will also provide an immediate upgrade in net to the Adirondack Phantoms. Goaltending has not been a major issue for the farm team in the last few years, but any help they can get to make the play-offs will go a long way. If Danis can steal five or six more wins, maybe they make the playoffs before finally leaving Glens Falls for good.
The Flyers should not stop with the Danis signing. Cal Heeter is a fine young prospect with the Phantoms, but he doesn’t project to be more than a back-up goaltender at the NHL level either.
For those wondering about prospect Anthony Stolarz, he is not eligible for the Phantoms until the 2014-15 season. Considering how “raw” a talent he is, Stolarz needs at least another year in juniors and perhaps two AHL seasons under his belt before he should even be pencilled in as a Flyers’ back-up option.
The Phantoms do have goaltender Carsen Chubarek signed to an AHL deal, but he is not eligible to play in the NHL under that contract. Chubarek was a finalist for the Hobey Baker award last season (given to best NCAA hockey player).
It would be in the organization’s best interest to sign at least one more junior level goaltender who can compete for a Phantoms’ goaltender spot (and later a Flyers’ spot, fingers crossed) in time. One player I would consider is Etienne Marcoux, a 19 year-old goaltender for Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL. Marcoux attended the Flyers’ prospect camp last July and followed up with a 27-10-3 record and 0.913 save percentage in the 2012-13 season. Marcoux is attended the Anaheim Ducks’ prospect camp this year.
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