Dwayne Roloson: The Stats and Age Do Not Add up

Jonathan Williams@@jonathanbwCorrespondent IJune 18, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 27:  Petteri Nokelainen #17 of the Anaheim Ducks pursues the puck after being played along the boards by goaltender Dwayn Roloson #35 of the Edmonton Oilers during the NHL game at Honda Center on March 27, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The Oilers defeated the Ducks 5-3. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

"My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure." - Abraham Lincoln

In the Edmonton papers today there is a lot of discussion about what the Edmonton Oilers are going to do with Dwayne Roloson, their starting goaltender.

Let's be clear, Roloson has been hot and cold as the starter over the last three years.  He was smoking hot during the 2006 playoffs and may have led the team to the championship, save for a terribly ill-timed injury.

Since then, he has been so-so for most of his tenure for the Oilers.  In the 2007-08 season, he lost his starting job to Mathieu Garon.  Roloson, for most of the season, was unable to win games.  

Then in the latter half of this past season he was on fire once again, defying age and odds to almost lead the team back to the playoffs. 

Yet, in that stretch it also became painfully obvious that he was overworked, tired, and broken down exactly at the wrong time.  This year there was no miracle left in his body.

As Brett Favre proved last season, 39-year-olds are not really able to carry a team on their back all season.  They do not have the stamina to do it.

So now there are discussions of a new contract for Roloson. 

The Oilers want a year, Roloson appears to want something at least two years long.  He has also been quoted saying he could play another four years.

His argument is that he does not have the same wear on his body as other goalies as he was a backup for much of his career. 

Even given that this might be correct, he is going to be 40 this year.  He may feel good now but really as a starter he would be expected to play for 50-plus games.  I cannot see any way he can do that more than one or two years.

Then there is the amount of money he wants.  In all likelihood he wants something higher than the $3.66 million he made over the last contract.  I think it would be an epic mistake to give him even a dime more.

Keep in mind that Roloson played in 62 games last year.  Most of those games came in the last half of the season but even with that he is only on the upper tier of goalies games played. 

If you look at his goals against and save percentage he is in the lower half of the league in both categories.  In 2007-08 he was even worse finishing with 43 games played and with a goals against and save percentage that launched him to the bottom of both lists.

If one looks at the first season under contract for the Oilers 2006-07 Roloson played 68 games and finished ranked in the 20s in both categories.

In other words, Dwayne Roloson is an average goalie who occasionally gets hot.  At no time has he earned a raise, other than the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

It is time that Tambellini cut the strings.  It was a nice run but they have to move on for the good of the team. 

Otherwise a mid-level goaltender who could easily still be a backup on a different team will continue to hold the team's cap money up for no good reason. 

The time has come to be rational and do not be content with another season of failure because players have been loyal or nice or once had a good season. 

Success in sports is built around business rationality.


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