Bet you weren’t totally aware, but there was a competition for the Kings backup goalie job.
As it turns out, Ben Scrivens, acquired from Toronto this summer, gets the honor of giving Jonathan Quick the occasional night off.
Scrivens beat out veteran netminder, and former King in his own right, Mathieu Garon for the job. The Kings released Garon from his professional tryout agreement this afternoon.
In Toronto, Scrivens backed up James Reimer and did an admirable job of that. He and Matt Frattin were obtained from the Leafs in exchange for former Quick backup Jonathan Bernier.
Related: New backup Scrivens will have to ‘earn every minute’ in L.A.
Chris Mason occasionally sports a breathtaking beard, but his netminding was downright hairy during the 2013 season.
With that in mind, Nashville Predators GM David Poile told the Tennessean that the team will look for a different backup behind $7 million starter Pekka Rinne for the 2013-14 campaign.
(More precisely, Poile said the team “might, maybe and in all probability will be looking to see what’s available,” which is a very David Poile way of saying such things.)
Rinne’s first season as one of the NHL’s richest netminders was disappointing, with a 15-16-8 record and a .910 save percentage (compared to his .920 career average). Still, his numbers look fantastic compared to Mason’s 1-7-1 record and abysmal .878 save percentage.
Those stats make it tough to fathom the 37-year-old playing in the NHL next season, but at minimum, he probably won’t be with the Predators.
The crop of backups isn’t too promising, with Jose Theodore, Mathieu Garon, Ray Emery and Nikolai Khabibulin among the most notable potential targets.
Nashville might also turn to 22-year-old prospect Magnus Hellberg, although Poile said he’d rather give the big Swede another year to develop.
“That’s another thing we’re talking about within our organization too, is whether he’s had enough experience yet,” Poile said. “I think our druthers would be to see him play another full year down there (in Milwaukee) in terms of his development.”
Odds are high that the new guy’s numbers will look better either way, although few could top his facial hair.
The Carolina Hurricanes are in discussions with goalie Dan Ellis about a contract extension, according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer.
Ellis, 32, told Alexander the two parties are “talking back and forth” about a new deal, but made it clear there was no offer on the table.
“[A] holding pattern,” is how Ellis described it, adding that he’d like to return for 2013-14.
The journeyman netminder signed in Carolina last season on a one-year, $800,000 deal, primarily to serve as a veteran backup to starter Cam Ward.
But things changed.
Ward suffered a season-ending knee injury in early March, forcing Ellis into the No. 1 gig. While he wasn’t terrible, the numbers reflect a goalie thrust into a position he probably wasn’t suited for, playing in front of a slumping team.
Ellis went 6-8-2 with a .906 save percentage and 3.13 GAA, occasionally splitting duties with third-stringer Justin Peters.
It’ll be interesting to see if the ‘Canes bring Ellis back. The goaltending market figures to be pretty deep this summer, with the backup (or, potential backup) goaltender market projecting to feature Ray Emery, Jose Theodore, Chris Mason, Mathieu Garon, Jason Labarbera and Anton Khudobin.