Sporting a 27-7-5 record with a 0.918 SV% and four shut outs, Shane Starrett had himself a fine first year in the AHL and earned All Rookie and second-team All Star honours. The AHL’s Goaltender of the Month in February, Starrett helped his club to a sparkling 9-0-0 record as part of their incredible 17-game unbeaten run.
Starrett, 24, spent two years at Air Force in the NCAA’s AHA (I know, but it’s easier for me this way) before debuting in the ECHL last year. A modest 0.912 SV% at that level was enough to get him to Bakersfield full-time this season, and he took full advantage of the increased visibility. Top five (or better) finishes in wins, SV% and GAA% and arrows are up for Starrett heading into 2019-20.
Tentative terms are up on CapFriendly right now suggesting a 1-year deal at ~$700k at the NHL level. Will update when we get confirmation, but so far it looks like it could be a one-way deal. That might make sense given Starrett’s NHL cap hit was higher this season, but the Oilers managed to shrink that number despite Starrett’s strong year. We’ll know more when we know more.
Good year aside, look for him to handle the bulk of the AHL work next season unless he shows himself to be leaps and bounds ahead of Koskinen or, god forbid, Mike Smith. Should he start down in California, if he can repeat his performance he might find some minutes at the NHL level before too long.
Malone, 30, has spent the better part of the last five seasons in an organizational depth role. With 23 NHL GP since 2015-16 (all with Edmonton), Malone will most likely be counted on to provide some veteran leadership down in Bakersfield and chip in offensively every second game or so, as his career would suggest he’s capable of. I’d be surprised if he saw any time in Oilers silks this season, assuming Ken Holland is better at his job than all of his predecessors and most of his coworkers.
Terms aren’t yet available for Malone’s deal either, but his previous cap hit was $650k on a two-way pact.