Garon and free agency

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.

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  • GMatsuda

    I think it’s a lock that Garon does not want to return to the Kings. I have to wonder if he feels like he ever got a chance to be the #1 goalie here. I think he had a great chance last season, but didn’t grab it and run with it, even though the entire game gave up after January.

  • Marc Nathan

    I liked Garon MUCH more than I liked LaBarbera last season, and this year, well… you know it took Brust and Fukufuji to make me think no one could be worse than Dan Cloutier… I, as you, have noticed that the bloom is off the rose on the Sean Burke tip, and yet, we don’t see Garon play the final few games, as if to say that the Kings aren’t going to do him any favors by showcasing him and giving him a chance to succeed.

    During the lockout season, Garon played “1A” for Manchester and although he had slightly worse numbers than his “1B” partner, Adam Hauser, and had a quick playoff exit, he still managed to post a save percentage of close to 93% and was pretty steady with regular work.

    At 29, I am sure he has an NHL future, and who knows… two or three years from now could find himself as a “crafty veteran” who finds his game and with a good team, becomes a “premiere” if not “elite” netminder. It happened for guys like Legace…

  • GMatsuda

    Holy crap…Marc Nathan lives! :-)

    Even if the Kings wanted to sign Garon, I truly believe that he has no interest in staying.

  • fulton

    The Sabres obviously needed a back-up at the deadline since they were moving Biron and they settled on Conklin. You have to think they at least asked Deano about Garon. Perhaps other teams looking for a reliable back-up did the same, yet Garon is still in LA.

    That either means that Lombardi wasn’t comfortable with the prospects of Burke, Fukufuji and Brust for the balance of the season or that he is at least considering a 3-headed monster of Cloutier-Labarbera-Garon for next season.

    I think there is a possibility of him coming back to LA next season, and I personally would like to see him get a shot at the #1 spot.

  • Ernest

    I think its time for Garon to move on. I think he has played well and I am a fan but the new administration has shown very little faith in him. He also hasnt taken the ball and ran with it. It’s one of those things in which it will benefit both sides to split. I will miss Matty though.

  • ADeVandry

    Garon is not a #1 goalie. LA needs to move on from it’s sorry past, starting with the goalies.

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