Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill has confirmed to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that the team won’t be buying out goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
Asked point blank about the possibility he said, “No, we’re not buying him out. That last game is not a full reflection of the season. Nobody remembers the game before where he stood on his head. He’s disappointed, and the team is disappointed. We finished second overall, and everybody is focussed on the playoffs. Something went right too, you’ve got to be careful.”
Through 43 games last season Lehtonen put up a .906 save percentage. His .911 even-strength save percentage ranked 61st of 69 goaltenders who played at least 500 minutes.
In Friedman’s “30 Thoughts,” Nill doesn’t address the other possibility that could help Dallas fix their goaltending dilemma: buying out Antti Niemi. Between the two netminders the Stars are $10.4 million deep in goaltending and combined to give them the fourth worst even strength save percentage in the NHL.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.