The goaltending situation for the Bulldogs next year is looking a little less
cluttered now as on Wednesday, the Habs placed Robert Mayer on contract
termination waivers. Assuming he isn’t claimed by another NHL team on
Thursday for a cost of $125, this paves the way for him to join Geneve-Servette
of Switzerland’s NLA next season and for Mike Condon to likely become a
full-time AHL’er in 2014-15.
Mayer leaves the Bulldogs as the second-longest tenured goaltender in
franchise history with 128 games played over five years. (Yann Danis is
the all-time leader at 176.) Despite the high number of games played, he
never recorded a shutout in the AHL. Although he was given several
opportunities to take the number one job, he failed to hold onto the role for
more than a few games before his Achilles heel of allowing untimely soft goals
would creep back up again.
Throughout his career in the AHL Mayer has been a consistently mediocre
goaltender. His career low in GAA was 2.80 while his top save percentage
was .909, both of which came this past season. Unfortunately, both of
those barely cracked the top-30 in the AHL while past years saw him struggle to
keep his stats in the top-40. Overall, he compiled a 39-59-10 record with
the Bulldogs with a 2.94 GAA and a .906 SV%. Although he was recalled to
the big club a few times over the years, he never appeared in an NHL game
although he did dress as the backup several times including in Game 5 of the
first round vs Ottawa last season.
Mayer already has a bit of familiarity with his new team. Earlier this
season, he was loaned to Geneve-Servette for the Spengler Cup. Although he
didn’t get the starting nod early on, he was in goal for the gold medal game in
which he was victorious. He also was with Team Switzerland for the World
Championships as the third goalie.
The Habs still have a few decisions to make on their minor league goalies for
next year. Devan Dubnyk is a pending UFA and isn’t likely to return while
Peter Delmas is a restricted free agent. Although he hasn’t progressed
much since signing three years ago, the odds for him getting a new deal likely
increase a bit as Montreal will likely want to keep five goalies under contract
for next year; already signed are Carey Price, Peter Budaj, Dustin Tokarski, and
Condon. Alternatively, they could let Delmas go and pick up an undrafted
prospect to fill the 5th string role as well.
Mayer appeared on our prospect rankings for each of the last five seasons.
His best rating came in 2010 as he was ranked 29th following a strong showing in
the ECHL’s Kelly Cup playoffs where he was named MVP. He was ranked 33rd
in our 2013 rankings.
His release will open up another contract spot on the limit of 50 for
2014-15. There are now 37 committed contracts for next season, three of
which are eligible to slide should they not play nine NHL games (McCarron, de la
Rose, and Fucale).