Tom Renney liked Martin Gerber so much he doesn’t even want to talk about him.
“Steve (Tambellini) was right on the mark in going after a guy like Marty, who I think is completely capable of playing in the NHL,” said the Oilers coach, after the club placed the veteran keeper on waivers Thursday morning. “That being said, I won’t say any more because I don’t want anybody to pick him up on waivers.
“I hope he goes through because we need a bona fide goaltender in Oklahoma City. We need a good start there. Our players have to play with confidence, they have to continue to grow and develop and that’s a key position. And if we need something up here (in the NHL), this man is completely capable.”
Gerber looked very good in a pair of pre-season games with the Oilers, allowing just one goal on 33 shots over two games, but with Nikolai Khabibulin on staff, and either Jeff Deslauriers or Devan Dubnyk backing him up, he didn’t fit a hole with the Oilers.
“Definitely not what I was looking for, but if you were realistic from the beginning, there was a good chance that could happen,” said Gerber, who played in the Russian league last year before signing a one-year contract with Edmonton. “Unfortunately it happened. It would be fun to be part of the group, I think it’s an unbelievable group, there’s lots of excitement in that room. There could be something big coming up here and I definitely want to be part of it.”
Gerber’s ultimate destination remains the NHL.
“I have lots left in me and I tried to show it in the last few weeks,” he said. “I definitely want to be back here. When I signed here my first goal was to stay here, and that’s still my goal. But things change quickly sometimes.”
Teams have until noon Friday to pluck Gerber off waivers.