Thursday, September 16, 2010

Meeting the New Guys: Dany Sabourin

This is going to be the final player profile of the offseason. I’d appreciate feedback from you guys that have been reading. Let me know if you liked this “Meeting the New Guys” series and/or things you would change, etc. I hope you feel more informed about the team this upcoming season.

Braden Holtby is most likely to be sharing this season’s games with Dany Sabourin, a veteran AHL goalie who has also seen a decent amount of NHL games. Let’s say hello.

Name: Daniel “Dany” Sabourin
Birthdate: September 2, 1980
Hometown: Val-d’Or, Quebec, Canada
Drafted: 1998, 4th round, 108th overall by the Calgary Flames
Height: 6’4
Weight: 200 lbs
Catches: left
-Finished the 2009-2010 season with a .50 win percentage, a .915 save percentage, and 2.67 goals against average. He played 56 games and posted 3 shutouts.

I know that many people (myself included) are itching to see Braden Holtby play a game or two in the NHL. And if one of the goalies gets a minor injury, he is likely to be the one they call-up. But if one goalie goes down with a long-term injury or if (god forbid) both are injured, expect to see the team turning to Sabourin to take on the workload. At least until they know they can rely on Holtby.

On July 1, 2010, he signed a one year, two-way contract with the Washington Capitals. lists his salary as $250,000 in the AHL and $525,000 in the NHL. Taking a look at Sabourin’s professional career, he has played for 6 AHL teams and 3 NHL teams. When he played for the Vancouver Canucks in 2006-2007, he saw playing time during two playoff games, once when Luongo was pulled and once when he needed to…attend to something off-ice. He played a total of 57 games at the NHL level. He averaged a .854 save percentage for those 57 games.

During the 2005-2006 season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Sabourin won the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award. Every year this award is given to the goalie determined to be the best goaltender in the league. Basically, it’s the AHL version of the Vezina trophy. His statistics for that season included a 2.26 goals against average and a .922 save percentage.

To get a better idea of what kind of goalie we’re looking at, I enlisted the help of Providence Bruins fan and expert, Sarah Connors (of
Something’s Bruin):

For Providence fans, last season was an especially frustrating one. Our team didn't make the playoffs for the first time since the late 90's, our scoring struggles were just as drastic as Boston's, and our talent pool was stricken by injury and callups, moreso than usual because of injury to the big club right up I-95.

One bright spot, however, was Dany Sabourin, your future Bears goaltender.

Last year was a record-setting year for Mr. Sabourin's personal statistics. He started 57 games to the oft-injured Kevin Regan's 21,
and played over 3000 minutes, something he'd never done before, even at the age of 30. The closest he'd come previously was his year with the Pittsburgh/WBS Pens, in 05-06, when he started 50 games. He's played in 57 total NHL games, and last year often carried the struggling P-Bruins on his back, often making 30+ saves in a night. He's solid in net, and is a good veteran presence; the Bears' younger goaltenders will learn a lot from him.

Fun fact - Sabourin did not lose a game in OT all season. His 28-27-0 record does not reflect how well he played at all - he has Providence's fail of an offense last year to thank for that. In January alone, he went 5-5, but his GAA was 1.94. He'll be good insurance if your defense isn't stellar, and paired with the perennially goal-happy Bears offense, you should be good to go.

Big thanks to Sarah for helping out with this post. Be sure and check out her work at
Something's Bruin and follow her on Twitter.

In order to endear him to the Washington/Hershey fans some more, here’s a video of him making a highlight save against Mike Richards during a shootout.

Apparently he’s also a fan of PSP. I ask forgiveness for linking a Penguins video…

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