Sens camp - Goaltending

Friday, September 24, 2010 ·

Today marks the end of the first week of Sens training camp. So what have we learned? Truthfully, not a whole hell of a lot, but there are some interesting story lines developing. After his opening night shutout of the Leafs and Brian Elliott's shaky first period the following night, many are already wondering if 19 year old Robin Lehner is ready for prime time. Easy there trigger.

While we should never rule out the improbable (see Matt Carkner last year) there are still a few large hurdles standing in the talented Swede's way:

-It's early. Really early. Lehner and Elliott have played one game each and Leclaire won't strap them on until later tonight in Montreal.

-Brian Elliott and Pascal Leclaire are both on one way contracts.

-If you assume burying one way money in the minors is the way to go consider this. Leclaire will make 4.8m(gulp) this season while Elliott earns .850.

Leclaire's issues are obvious. It would be a tough sell to ownership because of the salary, and it would be a tough admission by a management group that dealt Antoine Vermette away for him just 18 months ago(it should be noted that the 2nd rd pick also acquired in that deal turned into Lehner).

Part of the logic behind waiving one way money to the AHL is to clear cap space. That wouldn't be the case if the club decided to do that with Elliott. In fact, cap space would shrink by keeping Lehner in the NHL over Elliott as Lehner's NHL contract pays him .900 to Elliott's .850.

How about a trade? Have you paid attention to the market for goaltenders since the Stanley Cup Finals? Never say never, but good luck.

Having said all that(other than injury)the only way Lehner is here to start the season is if he continues to be near perfect in pre-season and one of the incumbents absolutely falter. There are just too many hurdles for this to be a pure hockey move.

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Welcome to my Healthy Scratches blog. You can hear Jason York and myself weekdays from 3-6 on Team 1200. I use this blog to expand upon some of the things we talk about on the show, and anything else that really pops into my ample head.
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