The Dallas Stars have apparently made a decision regarding their goaltending situation with Kari Lehtonen set to return later this week. The team has informed Andrew Raycroft this afternoon that he will be placed on waivers tomorrow to open up a spot for the Stars to activate Lehtonen off the IR. Kari has missed 12 games because of a groin injury and has been skating well during practices in the last few days, and is expected to start Thursday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Andrew talked about what Raycroft’s trade value might be earlier today, but it appears for now that the Stars are willing to send him through waivers and see what happens. If he clears the Stars would still pay him is NHL salary, but he would then be placed down with the Texas Stars and essentially replace Richard Bachman. The move of course means that the team will go forward with Bachman as the back-up behind Lehtonen. While last night’s performance was not strong, Bachman has given the Stars some solid games in the past couple of weeks and overtook Raycroft to start eight straight games.
Now the 24 year-old rookie will stick with the big team heading forward. With Raycroft’s contract up after this season and Bachman consistently jumping up through the ranks, I had young Bachman as the back-up for next season. But Lehtonen’s groin caused a kink in the whole thing and now after going 5-2-0 with a .912 save percentage in nine contests, Bachman is the team’s choice going forward for this season. This doesn’t mean that Raycroft couldn’t still be moved via a trade, but to activate Kari the Stars had to make a decision by 11AM tomorrow. And it looks like Bachman seized his chance and Raycroft will be the guy playing elsewhere.
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