"He's a quality, veteran goaltender," Penguins assistant general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "He has a proven track record in the NHL. He'll add quality depth and bring leadership."
The two seasons leading up to this year, one with the Kings and one with the Oilers, he put up a 13-10 record with a .907 SV% with the Kings. The year after that, he put up 26 wins with a .970 SV% with the Oilers. What do both of those teams have in common? Lack of good defense. Hell, the Kings haven't made the playoffs in five years and Garon still managed to put up pretty solid numbers and the Oilers have not been much better. I would say Fletcher's observation is pretty fair.
"At 31, I think Garon is seen as a goalie that still has upside to his game, and maybe a more veteran presence with Marc might be good," Shero said after he sent goaltender Dany Sabourin, minor-league forward Ryan Stone and a fourth-round draft pick in 2011 to the Oilers for Garon.
"That's what happened last season," Shero said of 2007-08, when veteran journeyman Ty Conklin gave the Penguins a strong, 18-8-5 performance, primarily during Fleury's absence because of a high ankle sprain. Fleury watched how Conklin handled being the No. 1 goaltender, how he stick-handled, how he sparked at least some debate on whether Fleury should be handed back the starting job -- and it pushed Fleury to have a strong stretch drive and help the Penguins reach the Stanley Cup final.
Earlier in his Penguins career, Fleury got guidance from veteran backup Jocelyn Thibault.
It's just sad that we have find a veteran goaltender every damn year because Fleury feels the need to be pushed in the first place. It's not like the guy is in his first, second or third year. Other's feel Therrien is too hard on him. Therrien is hard on every player who is not playing up to expectations. Why should Fleury be any different? Why do some feel the need to treat this guy with velvet gloves? Particularly after receiving that huge salary. We shouldn't have to worry about hurting the guy's feelings every time Therrien calls him out. He's not six years old.
Yet, since his return he has proven that he still struggles with rebounds and let's in soft goals. Nevermind his inability to handle the puck behind his net. Last season, he had an offense that would put up 4-5 goals a game, he doesn't have that luxury this season and not every team/goaltender in the NHL has that luxury. He has to start stealing some games for us. That's why he's getting that huge paycheck. That's also why we drafted him first overall in the 2003 draft.
All of that aside, I see no reason why Garon can't push Fleury for the reasons already stated by Fletcher. While this team has other issues to resolve, it doesn't mean you simply ignore the one's that can be fixed. You have to start somewhere. Shero started by shipping off a goaltender who has looked like shit since early December, an unhappy and underachieving Ryan Stone and a fourth round pick that can be retainable. It's not like we shipped off a second or third round pick.
Now, it will be interesting to see if he chooses to go after a winger or two.