Had a chance to talk to Mathieu Garon, who will be a free agent for the first time in his career at age 29. Pro athletes are very hesitant to discuss their future plans while the season is still going on, but I asked Garon about his thoughts, in a general sense, about being on the market this summer.
“I’ve started to think about it, but not really about what team I would go to,” Garon said. “Of course I’ve looked at the teams and thought about which ones might need goalies, but there’s nothing I can do until July 1 so I’m not going to worry about it right now. I can’t really worry about it. … Even if I think I want to sign with a team, they still have to want me. It’s not like I can just choose.”
I asked Garon about the Kings, since the goaltending situation in Los Angeles is far from stable. Cloutier will be coming back from hip surgery and beyond that, who knows?
“It’s really none of my business,” Garon said. “I’m not the one making the decisions.”
I followed up and asked him, flat out, if he would want to return to the Kings.
Garon said, “We’ll see. It’s tough to say. I haven’t talked to anyone yet.”
Read into that whatever you will. It hasn’t been easy for Garon here. He arrived after the lockout and Dave Taylor pretty much pronounced him to be the No. 1 goalie before training camp. Then he got locked into Andy Murray’s rotating system (with Jason LaBarbera), went through an inconsistent season and then the Kings brought in Dan Cloutier. After two seasons, I’m still not sure what to make of Garon’s game. It seems as though he’s done his best work as a “1A” type goalie or a backup. Some guys are just better suited to that role. Garon would probably argue that he just deserves a chance to be a full-time No. 1, and maybe he will get that chance next season, somewhere.