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Countdown to Opening Night
Penguins vs. CheckersOctober 7th, 2017
15 days to go.
A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
Knowing that Jeff Zatkoff is going to be Marc-Andre Fleury’s NHL backup and the uncertainly of carrying a sophomore goalie in Matt Murray and a rookie goalie in Tristan Jarry, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins were in the market for a veteran goaltender.
There are a few names left on the Top 100 AHL Free Agent Big Board that rolled out last month. Familiar names like Rob Zepp and David Leggio and AHL veterans like John Muse, but the Penguins went in a different direction.
They signed Brian Foster.
Yes, dear reader, I had vaguely or never heard of him either. You can check out his hockeyDB page here and find that he has all of 20 games of AHL level or higher experience. The numbers are, to put it plainly, not good. The numbers in the ECHL are pedestrian at best as well.
My reaction on Twitter was met with, “well, maybe it’s a WBS signing that is really meant for (the ECHL affiliate) Wheeling.” I don’t think so. I think if it were, then it’s Wheeling that announces Foster’s signing and WBS signs him under emergency conditions only. Your goaltending tandem heading into the home opener set for October 17 in Wilkes-Barre appears to be Matt Murray and Brian Foster, barring the extraordinary.
My guess is that Pittsburgh wants Murray and Jarry to be 1A options in goal as they continue to develop. Since Wheeling doesn’t share a dual affiliation with Montreal anymore, they can have Jarry start down in the ECHL while Murray gets the load of starts in the AHL. If Jarry sets a pace at the ECHL level that Murray set in the AHL, then you probably see a swap of Foster for Jarry in the future.
Now, back to summer.