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Desert Auld

AuldAlex Auld finally got some good news lately as the Phoenix Coyotes offered him a one-year contract. The deal was announced on Monday.

This may not be a great deal for Alex, but more of a 'best thing at this time' kind of deal. He's the third goalie under contract with the Desert Dogs and he might have to go through the AHL to get back to the bigs.

There's no reason, however, to think he isn't better than the other two guys. I think if he plays the way he can, he'll find the playing time. He's not going up against Roberto Luongo or anything like that.

Speaking of Luongo, I don't think his situation in Florida was handled right, not that there's anyone to blame. When the Panthers signed Ed Belfour, it was with the intention that Ed was going to fight to be a starter. He did just that. When Alex struggled, there was a Hall of Famer sitting there ready to pounce. And pounce Eddie did.

Belfour ended up becoming Florida's starting goalie, and Auld kind of drifted into the good night. He had a knee injury that cost him the last couple months of the season, and he had expressed a major desire to come back to the Panthers and prove he could be the go-to guy the Panthers thought he could be last summer. But once Florida traded for Tomas Vokoun, all Florida was looking for was an inexpensive backup. Auld and Belfour were out of the mix.

With Auld taking the Phoenix gig, there aren't many openings in the league left. It had been bandied about that the Coyotes were interested in Belfour, but with Auld there, one would think those days are over. That means Eddie's looking for a job in a market that's as tight as one could be.

Don't know the specifics of Auld's deal, but I'm guessing it's a two-way deal which means he could start the season in the AHL. Phoenix has a supposed starter in David Aebischer (Colorado, Montreal), although he wasn't very good last year with the Habs. Mikael Tellqvist is also under contract, although he's never been more than a backup at the NHL level.