GLENDALE AZ - JANUARY 08: Goaltender Jason LaBarbera #1 of the Phoenix Coyotes looks up ice during the NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at Jobing.com Arena on January 8 2011 in Glendale Arizona. The Sabres defeated the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Phoenix Coyotes re-signed goaltender Jason LaBarbera on Monday to a two year deal. Reports are that he will receive 1.25 million dollars a year in the new deal. The Burnaby, B.C. native has been a steady presence in net for the Desert Dogs while serving as Ilya Bryzgalov's backup the last two seasons He set career highs in save percentage and GAA during his first season with the team during the 2009-10 season. He followed that season up with another solid performance this season. While his numbers weren't as good, one could argue neither was the support he received on many nights. He still put up a save percentage of .909 which is average numbers wise for an NHL goalie and one most teams would be happy to get from their backup.
The question now is will he be spending the next two seasons in the same relief role. With the Coyotes ownership instability at the moment, the chances are high that Bryzgalov may choose to sign elsewhere. If he does, what becomes of the goalie situation here in Phoenix. With their best goalie prospects unlikely to be ready for NHL duty for another year or two at best, the franchise will likely have go out and sign or trade for another goalie to either come in and start or share the starting duties with Labarbera.