Richard Bachman Getty

Opportunity Bachs: Rookie wins Stars’ backup gig, Raycroft waived

What a difference a month can make.

Thirty days ago, it looked as though backup Andrew Raycroft would be Dallas’ temporary No. 1 goalie after Kari Lehtonen was lost to a groin injury. Raycroft’s lone challenger was unheralded rookie Richard Bachman, who had nine minutes of NHL experience.

Yet Bachman provided stellar play and wrestled the starting gig away from Raycroft. Now, with Lehtonen set to return to action on Thursday against Columbus, Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk is putting Raycroft on waivers — meaning Bachman is the new No. 2.

“I think through his body of work, he’s earned the opportunity to move forward at this level,” Nieuwendyk told Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. “It’s a process, and he’s still learning, but he has done a lot of good things and we feel he has the ability to be even better.”

Raycroft, 31, could be picked up by another team by 11 a.m. Thursday. While his numbers aren’t great this season — 2-8-0 with a 3.52 GAA and .898 save percentage — he’s still an intriguing option.

First, he’s affordable. There’s one year left on his deal that pays $650,000 annually.

Second, he’s coming off two pretty decent seasons. In 2009-10, he went 9-5-1 with a 2.42 GAA and .911 save percentage in Vancouver; last year he went 8-5-0 with a 2.83 GAA and .910 save percentage in Dallas.

Third, there are teams desperate for goaltending help — Columbus and Tampa Bay, most notably — and acquiring Raycroft is about as inexpensive and low-risk as it gets.

If no team claims Raycroft, it’s off to AHL Texas.

“It could be a good thing for Andrew,” Nieuwendyk said. “It’s certainly not easy for him, but I do believe it’s also an opportunity. He can get the chance to play some and maybe get into a groove.”

Kings’ AHL affiliate gives Emery PTO

Ray Emery
Leave a comment

Ray Emery has agreed to join the Ontario Reign on a professional tryout, according to a team release.

The Reign are the minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.

Emery attended Tampa Bay’s training camp on a PTO, but he was released after the team claimed Kevin Poulin on waivers from the Islanders.

The 33-year-old had a 10-11-7 record with a 3.06 goals-against-average and a .894 save percentage in 31 games with the Flyers last season.

Even with starter Jonathan Quick struggling, it’s hard to envision this move leading to a return to the NHL for Emery.

The Kings have Quick and Jhonas Enroth with the big club, while veteran Peter Budaj was signed to a two-way contract on Friday.

Goalie nods: Reimer makes first start of the season

James Reimer
Leave a comment

James Reimer will get his first start of the 2015-16 season on Saturday night against Ottawa.

Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock made it clear from the beginning that Jonathan Bernier was going to start on Wednesday against Montreal and Friday in Detroit, while Reimer would get in against the Sens.

“I’ve known this for a long time that (Bernier is) starting and he’s starting on Wednesday and he’s starting on Friday. Reims is starting on Saturday,” Babcock said before the season began.

Things haven’t gone according to plan for Toronto through two games.

Not only have they lost both contests, but Bernier was pulled in yesterday’s 4-0 loss to the Red Wings, and the team has scored only one goal this season.

Reimer, who stopped 12 of 13 shots in just under 40 minutes of action against Detroit, will go up against Craig Anderson.


Cam Talbot will try to get his first win as an Oiler as they travel to Nashville to take on the Predators. Pekka Rinne will start for the Predators.

Carey Price and Tuukka Rask will face-off when the Canadiens and Bruins renew hostilities at the TD Garden in Boston.

Petr Mrazek will be between the pipes when the Red Wings take on the ‘Canes in Carolina. Cam Ward gets the nod for the Hurricanes.

Keith Kinkaid for the Devils. Braden Holtby makes his first start of the year in the Capitals’ season opener.

Steve Mason for the Flyers. Roberto Luongo for the Panthers in their opener.

-Columbus hasn’t confirmed who their starter will be in the back half of their home-and-home with the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist will start for New York.

Jake Allen makes his first start of the regular season for St. Louis. Devan Dubnyk for the Wild.

-The Islanders have yet to confirm their starter for tonight’s game in Chicago. Scott Darling for the ‘Hawks after Corey Crawford helped spoil the party in Brooklyn yesterday.

Antti Niemi gets the call for Dallas after he blanked the Penguins in his first start. Semyon Varlamov for Colorado.

Jonas Hiller for Calgary. Ryan Miller for the Canucks.

-The Penguins haven’t confirmed who their starter will be in Arizona tonight. Mike Smith will likely play in back-to-back games after beating the Kings on Friday.

-The Ducks have yet to confirm their starter. Martin Jones will start for San Jose.