The Summer Knows – part 2 goaltending

And lovingly
She warms the sand
On which you lie

One of, if not THE, key elements of good defensive in hockey is the goal tending.  (Not excusing the defensive play and breakdowns in the defensive zone and neutral zone which lie outside the nominal responsibility of a goalie.)

And the Sharks did not get good (enough) goal tending this past season.

Last summer, all the Sharks did to “improve” their goal tending was re-sign pending UFA Stalock.  (Pending RFA Sateri defected to Europe; Sharks still hold his rights.)

So, the 2014-15 season starting goal tenders, and coaches, were the same as the previous season.

Niemi and Stalock platooned the first month or so of the season, but then Niemi was given the lion’s share of the work load.

Over the course of the season, they signed Aaron Dell to an AHL contract, later upgrading to a NHL contract. And they signed undrafted free agent Joel Rumpel (currently in the playoffs with ECHL Allen on an ATO).

Depth chart as of today:

  • Stalock
  • Rumpel

Note that Anderson, Dell, Grosenick are pending RFAs and Niemi is pending UFA.  (And Sharks hold rights to Sateri.)

GM Wilson has stated that the organization would be adding 4+ goalies (so Rumpel is the first).

Obviously there will be deeper depth chart and more names on that list when the season starts.  More than five months of speculation and change to come.

As for the goalie coach(es): Wayne Thomas is 67; Corey Schwab lives on the east coast. With the AHL team moving to California, Schwab may look for emplyment elsewhere.  And Thomas may finally be ready to retire.

Changes are coming.

I expect a different pair of goalies in the NHL by October and different coaching.