The Voyagers

Justin Goldman





The fearless goalie voyager sets sail across the seven seas in search of more playing time. Sacrificing time and companions, he fights for nothing but his own beliefs and well-being. This mysterious man will fight through malicious maelstroms and deep, rigid mountain passes in search of a better land. Yes, the voyagers are always on the move, always ready to find a new team that will offer plenty of wealth and opportunity.




The Voyagers often break free from short leashes and move through the league with ease. Some are banished after one gigantic failure in one gigantic game, while others are released after a few displays of inadequacy or insubordination. Those moments turn up in scouting reports for years, acting as stigmas that unfairly judge them on a few select moments in time. Coincidentally, their fantasy value is often analyzed unfairly as well.


This becomes quite frustrating for all of us here at Dobber Nation. And I'll be the first to say, when it comes to gauging the long-term value of voyagers and prospects, I'm in the exact same boat. Why is it so hard to gauge a less-talented goalie's future? Why are there so many unknowns?

The answer really depends on who the goalie is and what type of character they have. It's an amorphic, personal answer that can only be deciphered by looking at the history and adventures of others. Like an almanac and a compass, the paths traveled by one voyager can in turn provide incredible insight into the path of another.

So let's look at four goalies that traveled to new lands last week and see what the stars have mapped out for their future. These guys are well-traveled and have seen their patience wear thin over the last few seasons, but never once wavered in their search for more playing time. Don't underestimate their fantasy value – their time could come at any moment in, in a number of different ways.

TY CONKLINFrom Edmonton to Buffalo to Columbus to Pittsburgh to Detroit to St. Louis
Conklin is remembered more for his blunder in the final minute of Game 1 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals than anything else. It was his big chance to snag a bigger role in the NHL, but it was Jussi Markkanen that played the rest of the way. That was the first of a few turning points in his career, but if the Alaska native can continue to play strong when called upon, he'll get that chance sooner rather than later.

He's had a few runs worth noting in his career, but none was more important than when Marc-Andre Fleury went down with an injury and he was called up (Dec. 7, 2007) on an emergency basis. On December 11, Dany Sabourin was pulled in an 8-2 loss to the Flyers. In the next game, Conklin launched the best streak of his life.

He would win his first nine starts in a P