DALLAS – The Dallas Stars have filled their big need for a backup goalie, getting Alex Auld from the Ottawa Senators.
The Senators had a logjam at the position, so they were willing to give up Auld for merely a sixth-round pick in 2010. The selection actually belongs to San Jose, having been acquired for Dallas’ seventh-rounder at this year’s draft.
The Stars didn’t pursue any veteran NHL free-agent goalies because they were in the sweepstakes for coveted Swedish free agent Jonas Gustavsson. Gustavsson chose Toronto on Tuesday, and new Dallas general manager Joe Nieuwendyk went to Plan B on Wednesday.
“Alex is a proven NHL veteran with a track record of success in this league,” Nieuwendyk said. “He has size and ability, and we expect him to be an excellent goaltender for us.”
The six-foot-four, 223-pounder will help ease the load on Marty Turco, who played 74 games last year, including a franchise-record 32 straight. The Stars are hoping that using Turco less will help keep him fresh.
New Dallas coach Marc Crawford certainly knows what he’s getting, having coached Auld for several seasons in Vancouver. Auld broke into the NHL under Crawford in 2001-02 and played in four playoff games over the next two seasons. He was the club’s MVP in 2005-06.
The 28-year-old Auld also has played for the Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes and Boston Bruins. He has a career record of 74-75-25, with six shutouts, a .905 save percentage and a 2.76 goals-against-average.
With the Senators last season, Auld was 16-18-1 with a .911 save percentage, a 2.48 goals-against-average and one shutout. He was made expendable after the Senators acquired Pascal Leclaire from the Columbus Blue Jackets in March.
Leclaire is expected to be Ottawa’s starter this season, backed up by Brian Elliott.
-With files from The Canadian Press.