In September, it seemed like the Oilers couldn't give Dwayne Roloson away.
Too old. Too expensive.
Now he's the man on whom they're going to hang their season.
Funny how things change.
"Coming in with a new mind set, not putting the pressure on myself like I did last year, has really helped," said Roloson, who showed enough this season that management dealt Mathieu Garon to Pittsburgh yesterday.
"It's allowed me to play a little bit better than what I did last year."
Well enough that GM Steve Tambellini finally committed to an undisputed No.1.
While it's good news for Roloson, he wasn't clicking his heels.
"You lose a teammate that you had a pretty good relationship with, got along well with at the rink," said Roloson.
"But at the same time it is a business and it's probably the best thing for everybody that's involved. He gets to go and have a lot of opportunity to play ."
Roloson knows exactly how Garon feels. Late last season, Roloson was so tired of sitting that he went so far as to say he'd be better off if the Oilers traded him.
"I"ve always said I wanted to go where I had an opportunity to play and fortunately I am being given an opportunity here," said Roloson. "Did I want to leave? No. I didn't want to leave last year, either. It's just the way things were working."
Roloson will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and his future beyond this season is up in the air.
"That's the least of my worries right now," he said of a new contract. "My worry is trying to get us some wins and give our guys a chance to move up the standings and get in a playoff spot."
HIGH ON STONE: The Oilers hope they've added some sandpaper to the organization with Ryan Stone, who comes over in the Garon deal.
The six-foot-two, 215-pound Calgary native never had fewer than 100 PIMs in a full season in the WHLor AHL. He also once scored 33 goalsin Brandon.
"We've had our eyes on him for a while," said MacTavish. "I remember talking to Brad McCrimmon's father when Ryan was playing for Brandon how much he liked him.
"He's an abrasive guy, a hard-nosed guy and he has some skill. Anytime you get a guy who has some toughness and a high level of competitiveness, it helps."