The Edmonton Oilers have nabbed a goaltender off waivers, claiming Alex Stalock from the Minnesota Wild according to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet. Elliotte Friedman confirms that Stalock is expected to report to the Oilers, meaning he’ll have to go through a mandatory quarantine after arriving in Canada.
Edmonton has been struggling to find any sort of goaltending depth since losing Anton Forsberg on waivers earlier this season and had a stretch where Mikko Koskinen was forced to play nine games in a two-week stretch. Mike Smith has returned of late to carry some of the burden, but the Oilers still desperately needed to add a third option in case another injury struck.
Currently, the team is carrying Dylan Wells as their taxi squad goaltender and it isn’t clear exactly how they’ll handle things once Stalock is able to practice. He won’t be eligible to move to the taxi squad, but the Oilers also don’t have much cap flexibility to carry three goaltenders on the active roster.
Still, there’s reason to believe that Stalock could be a real help for this Oilers team. His .910 save percentage last season was better than the .902 Smith recorded and his .909 career mark is better than Koskinen’s .908. The 33-year-old Stalock isn’t a true starter, but it’s not unthinkable to believe he could unseat one of the two at some point.
Of note is Stalock’s contract, which extends through 2021-22 at a very reasonable $785K. The Oilers will be able to leave him exposed to Seattle in the expansion draft and potentially use him as a backup next year.