Saturday, February 27, 2010
Stars, Rangers to split Auld's salary
By Richard Durrett
Goalie Alex Auld was claimed off re-entry waivers by the New York Rangers on Saturday. The Rangers and Dallas Stars will split his remaining salary, approximately $250,000.
Auld, 29, played 21 games (19 starts) for the Stars and was 9-6-3 with a 3.00 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage.
"It's exciting," Auld said by phone Saturday. "Obviously, you want to play for an NHL team, and that's what I'm getting here. I look forward to going there and seeing if I can help them get in the playoffs any way I can.
"They have one of the best goalies in the league there in Henrik Lundqvist, but whatever they need from me, I'll do. I've known throughout my career that there are many ways to contribute."
Auld was placed on waivers this week because the Stars didn't want to carry three goalies. Marty Turco's resurgent play combined with the trade for Kari Lehtonen made Auld expendable.
Auld's did a solid job in January, when he was given a chance to play more while Turco struggled.
But Turco is 4-1-1 with a 1.15 GAA and a .967 save percentage in his past six games, giving the Stars hope that he has reclaimed his form just in time for the stretch run. Dallas plays every other night in March, starting with Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Kings at American Airlines Center.
The Stars aren't ready to go with Lehtonen on a full-time basis because he hasn't played an NHL game since April. Lehtonen, who had two back surgeries in the offseason, has played a handful of games in the minors but still needs time to ease into an NHL schedule.
Stars coach Marc Crawford said Friday that Lehtonen will get chances to play soon, especially with the compact schedule that includes 21 games in 40 days.
Auld said he appreciated the fact that Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk was upfront and honest with him about the situation once the club traded for Lehtonen.
"I didn't feel like I was left out there wondering what might happen," Auld said. "He said there was a possibility that they'd have to move me. I knew after the Olympic break that something was going to happen. In a short time we fell in love with the area here in Texas, so it's tough to move on. At the same time, I'm looking forward to a new and exciting challenge."
Richard Durrett covers the Stars for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.