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2009-07-20 at 13:54

Auld heads south once again

By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch
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When the Ottawa Senators acquired goaltender Pascal LeClaire at the trade deadline, the writing was on the wall for Alex Auld’s future with the franchise

Two weeks ago Senator’s GM Bryan Murray made his move, sending Auld to the Dallas Stars, where he’s expected to back-up Marty Turco, in exchange for a sixth round draft pick in 2010.

The move was not all that unexpected by Auld, who heads to his sixth team in five seasons, darting one team ahead of journeyman Ty Conklin in the NHL’s version of the Amazing Race in the hunt for the title of the league’s most travelled netminder.

"It kind of worked out for the rest of the season that (LeClaire) was injured, so nothing changed right away. But there was the feeling that there were three goalies and we didn’t really know what was going to happen," Auld said before taking to the ice last Thursday at the Tournament Centre at the annual Easter Seals NHL Skate.

"I guess I’ve been around enough and moved around enough to know that anything’s possible. So when it actually did happen, I guess the exact day was a bit of a shock, but at the same time, you kind of come to expect it in this business."

Ironically it was against Dallas that Auld recorded his first NHL win. That was a long time and many cities ago, for anyone who’s counting.

Auld, who has a 74-75-25 record in 183 games, began his North American trek before he ever set foot on NHL ice.

Selected by Florida in the second round of the 1999 draft, two years later he was sent to Vancouver, an organization he’d remain with for the next five years. He was dealt back to Florida in the Roberto Luongo deal, signed as a free agent with Phoenix in 2007, traded to Boston partway into the 2007-08 season and wound up in Ottawa last year. In Ottawa he went 16-18-7 with a 2.47 goals against average, splitting time with Martin Gerber for the non-playoff-bound Senators.

He’s headed to a similar situation in Dallas, albeit with a few more familiar faces around.
Auld and Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk were teammates in Florida, while first-year coach Marc Crawford was behind the bench during his stay in Vancouver.

Auld said the past relationships with both Nieuwendyk and Crawford are what drew their attention to him when they sought out a back-up goaltender. It’s nice to be going somewhere where his services are wanted, he added.

"It’s obviously nice to be looked upon that way by somebody you look so highly on, that he wants to bring you into their system and their team," said Auld about Nieuwendyk.

The former 50-goal scorer told the Dallas Morning News the familiarity between Auld and Dallas management was a key to his acquisition.

"It’s an important position for us, and I think it’s very important that the coach has confidence in this player," Nieuwendyk said. "I know this coach has confidence in this player."

The 28-year-old Auld said he’s been told he can expect to play between 25 and 30 games for Dallas this season behind Turco, a player he knew marginally before the trade, but someone who welcomed him into the Stars fold with open arms.

Turco was the first player to phone Auld after the deal, and Auld can’t wait for the lessons to begin.

"He’s obviously a top-end goalie in the league and I’ll be able to learn a lot from him and hopefully push him and complement him and hopefully together get the team back on top."

Auld is entering the second year of a two-year, $1 million deal he signed with Ottawa.

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jb says:
The Stars suck
7/20/2009 2:17:21 PM
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