Our irregularly scheduled series grading this past season's individual performances continues with the UFA goalie who played "like a guy that's a true #1" in his coach's eyes (at times), yet not for long enough to even garner a one-way contract offer, according to the tea leaves.
#34 / Goalie / New York Islanders
Jun 21, 1981
2(ish): 6 prior games in 05-06
UFA; 2008-09 was $550k on two-way deal
Hey, that Habs farm guy is now our farm guy.
|2008-09 - Yann Danis
Random Fact: Danis' cold finish dropped his save percentage to .910, which was 26th among goalies who played at least 26 games.
'This is our concern, Dude' Fact: His save percentage was up around .930 at around 20 games, near the height of his powers and the height of Scott Gordon's praise for him. That he didn't sustain that through the dog days of the season -- is that why "indications" are he won't be back? Or are the Islanders just being realistic about Rick DiPietro's uncertain health situation and simply looking for a more proven character who can carry a larger load?
The Story: Danis' story -- and the whole story of those who filled in for Rick DiPietro this past season -- is basically encapsulated in the content and comments of this March post: Danis had a rough start in his limited spot action early on -- as if he knew he was just an emergency fill-in and almost treated it as such; Gordon hardly turned to him again. It was when Joey MacDonald went down with a longer injury that Danis got a chance at regular duty, and ran with it. Doug pointed out what we should have known all along: Danis' rebound control gave him the clear edge over MacDonald. WebBard weighed in with what the Islanders may ultimately have decided: It doesn't matter who was better, because neither should be the backup/1A next season.
The Good: That one run, man: From Jan. 13 - March 14, over 21 games Danis faced 31 shots per game and maintained a .938 save pct., with two shutouts. Is it fair to blame him for not sustaining that, when every goaltender has his ups and downs? We may never find out.
The Bad: Danis' season fell apart in the final weeks; he and MacDonald put up a .876 save pct. in the final 12 games, and Danis conceded a whopping 30 goals in his final 8 games.
The search for an emergency 'keeper
Yields a surprising Francophone sleeper
His hot winter run
Brief as January sun
Next year we best dig a little deeper
The Grade: This is another one where the grades -- relative to your preseason expectations -- could be all over the map, as I'm frankly not sure what expectations there were for him in September. Do you put more stock in his great 21-game run? Or in his disappointing finish? On that note, I'm curious whether any of you lurkers would want him re-signed, and under what circumstances (two-way behind a 1A flavor like Craig Anderson?).
I'd be up for another two-way deal, but I wonder if he (or his agent) think he's earned more of a guarantee than that. The problem for Danis, like so many goalies of his ilk, is that the market if flooded with decent goalies capable of hot runs. With guys like Curtis Sanford, Manny Legace, Wade Dubielewicz and Danis spending time in the AHL, while others drift to the KHL, a team can afford to insist on a two-way deal from a journeyman. If he doesn't take it, someone else will surface.