In claiming Malcolm Subban off of waivers, the Vegas Golden Knights seemed like they might need to fight through a dreaded three-goalie situation, at least for some time.
That’s not the worst problem to have when it makes for a trio of Subban, Calvin Pickard, and starter Marc-Andre Fleury … but it also might not be a long-lasting issue.
There were more than a few bewildered faces (or intense stares?) when word surfaced that Vegas placed Pickard on waivers today. He wasn’t the only notable name, as the Toronto Maple Leafs did the same with Martin Marinicin:
So, what might happen next? And why did they do this?
It’s not completely intuitive that placing a goalie on waivers would make him easier to trade. Sin Bin Vegas sheds some light on why this could grease the wheels:
Sin Bin Vegas notes that this could allow a recall of Vadim Shipachyov. It’s also worth noting that, while he was placed on IR to start the season, James Neal apparently could come back soon. The Las Vegas Journal-Review’s Steve Carp seemed impressed with Neal during the morning skate.
So, maybe part of the plan is to trade Pickard. Perhaps management simply believes that it’s worth the waiver risk to get other skaters into the mix.
Either way, it’s an interesting situation. Subban making things crowded means that this wasn’t totally out of left field, but personally, it wasn’t necessarily anticipated, either.
Especially considering that there are at least some who are quite fond of Pickard.
Pickard, 25, struggled when pressed into action in 2016-17, yet few goalies would put up great numbers over 50 games with that abysmal rendition of the Colorado Avalanche. Despite those tougher times, he has a solid .914 save percentage so far in his brief NHL career.
Goalies are fickle beasts, and some believe that Pickard has potential. Depending upon how this shakes out, we might see more than a few Subban vs. Pickard comparisons down the line.
Anyway, should a team bite the bullet and grab him now? Is Subban worth it? There’s a lot to digest here.