If there has been one roster trend in the NHL this season it is that teams can not have enough goalies on their roster and/or taxi squad. The Oilers decided to add to their goalie depth chart on Monday by claiming veteran Alex Stalock off waivers from the Wild.
Stalock was placed on waivers on Sunday. He will join the Oilers after he goes through a quarantine process as part of the NHL’s COVID protocols.
Panthers forward Brett Connolly was also waived on Sunday, but went unclaimed.
Stalock is signed through the end of the 2021-22 season at a salary cap hit of $725,000 per season, so it is a relatively low-risk move for the Oilers. Minnesota, meanwhile, gains nearly $500,000 in salary cap space this season by losing him.
Edmonton has been using a goalie duo of Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith so far this season with mixed results. Koskinen has struggled with a .901 save percentage in his 15 appearances, while the Oilers have a losing record with him in the lineup. Smith has been great since making his season debut, winning each of his first six starts with a .938 save percentage. But given his age and the level he has played at the past two seasons they should probably be expecting at least some kind of a regression in his production as he gets more playing time. He might end up having a bounce back season, but it is unlikely he is going to continue to be that good. So some added depth can not hurt.
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Stalock has yet to play this season as he was recovering from an offseason upper-body injury. The Wild seem set with Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen on the roster, and Andrew Hammond on the taxi squad.
Stalock is coming off a very strong 2019-20 season that saw him get the bulk of the playing time in Minnesota, posting a .910 save percentage and a 20-11-4 record in 38 regular season appearances. He also started all four of the Wild’s postseason games in the bubble. If nothing else, he should provide some solid depth at a cheap price for the Oilers.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.