Ben Scrivens' "Audition"

From the outhouse to the penthouse and back... - Jared Wickerham

Let's explore this line of thinking...

Ben Scrivens has the rest of the season to audition for a job with the Oilers next season.

--Dozens of hockey writers and broadcasters.

The above line has been repeated since approximately five minutes after Ben Scrivens acquired for a 3rd-round pick. I don't believe, however, that this is the logical conclusion for Scrivens over the next 31 games.

Scrivens is 27 years old and has yet to demonstrate the ability to maintain a job as a starter in the NHL. There's nothing to suggest that he's going to become a starter in the next 31 games. He's playing out the string in Edmonton and will hope to find a backup job next season. Unfortunately for him, he has to do it in Edmonton, where his 930 even strength save percentage won't hold up from the inside of the sausage factory.

For goaltenders, Edmonton is a point of no return. Goalies make big money by lucky runs in the playoffs and making the playoffs in Edmonton is the longest of shots to begin with. For a free agent goaltender, Edmonton is a last resort, unless of course the Oilers are willing to overpay, which the Oilers will likely do for their starter (Jonas Hiller, Jaroslav Halak, Anton Khudobin) and won't have the money to lavish on a backup's contract.

Finally, though the goaltending market should be tilted to the buyer (though we saw what the Oilers did the last time the market slanted to buyers so heavily), there will be backup jobs available. If a team like St. Louis, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Colorado or Dallas comes calling, Scrivens will snap up those offers instantly, and why wouldn't he? The chance of success with those teams far exceeds the chance of success in Edmonton.

Ben Scrivens isn't auditioning for a job in Edmonton over these last 31 games - he's auditioning for a job everywhere else. Anywhere else.

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