SUN Hockey Pool

Goalies duel to stay in Edmonton

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

This town ain’t big enough for the two of them.

Unfortunately for one, that problem will be coming to an end in a few days when either Jeff Deslauriers or Devan Dubnyk is gone, perhaps forever.

“It’s a hard call,” said GM Steve Tambellini. “I know we have to make a decision, but it won’t be easy.”

One of the sophomores will either be cut, and have to clear waivers before reporting to Oklahoma City, or traded in an 11th-hour deal.

Everybody concerned admits it’s not the best situation, but that’s the corner the Oilers have painted themselves into.

“Every team has those types of situations,” said Tambellini. “You hope not to lose people (on waivers) but that’s part of the process. I can’t worry about that once we make our decisions.”

In a short camp with four goalies, Deslauriers and Dubnyk haven’t much chance to show what they’ve got. They’ve played 31 and 60 minutes respectively and there are only three games left, of which Nikolai Khabibulin might play two.

“They know all of us pretty well, they know how we play and what we bring to the table,” said Dubnyk, selected 14th overall in 2004. “I don’t think they’re going to go solely off six pre-season games, not to downplay the importance of the games whatsoever, but they know us as people and goaltenders so obviously that will be part of the decision as well.”

Who’s at the wrong end of that choice remains to be seen.

“I think everybody knows that at some point they’re going to have to make a decision,” said Deslauriers, picked 31st overall in 2002. “But like we say in French, we’ll think about crossing the bridge when we get to the river. But we have to get to the river first. My job is to get to the river.”

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca


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