Well, that was quick. Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News is reporting this afternoon that the the Dallas Stars have informed backup goaltender Andrew Raycroft that he will be placed on waivers Wednesday morning at 11:00am.
This means that Richard Bachman has taken over the role of Kari Lehtonen's backup, and the timing suggests that Lehtonen will be activated from injured reserve on Thursday at 11am when the roster spot officially becomes available.
"I think through his body of work, he's earned the opportunity to move forward at this level,'' Nieuwendyk told the Dallas Morning News. Read the rest of Mike Heika's entry on today's news here.
The Stars will continue to pay Raycroft's $650,000 salary at the AHL level, should he clear waivers. Richard Bachman makes $630,000 in base salary at the NHL level. Raycroft would join Tyler Beskorowany with the Texas Stars and should help form a good duo for coach Jeff Pyle's team in Cedar Park.
Despite struggles in recent games Bachman is technically 5-2-0 in nine appearances with a .912 save percentage and a 2.76 GAA. Andrew Raycroft technically surrendered the game winner in St. Louis last night and was saddled with the loss, bringing his record on the season to 2-8-0 in 10 appearances with a .898 save percentage and a 3.52 GAA.
Raycroft wouldn't be able to return to the NHL if he needed to without going through re-entry waivers, at which time another NHL team could claim him for half the price of whatever is remaining this year at that would-be point.
All that being said, the move does not come as a surprise. Bachman's eight straight starts, including a back to back situation, sent a pretty clear message. They said they wanted to evaluate him in that time, they did, and his numbers speak for themselves. Last night's performance was not a good one, but it was not enough to dissuade management on their apparent stance that Bachman will be a more effective backup of Lehtonen.
What do you think? After three wins to start, Bachman allowed..."unsavory" goals that unraveled games against the Devils and Blues, and one that started an Anaheim come back to erase a 3-0 lead (though the Stars would win in the end.) Would you have thought harder about keeping Raycroft, or do you chalk that up to a bit of overexposure in starting a rookie eight times in a row?
Either way, congratulations to Richard Bachman for seizing the opportunity presented.