Update: Per Bob McKenzie, Stalock has been placed on waivers.

Alex Stalock is an American from hockey central, USA—St. Paul, Minnesota. He played college hockey at the University of Minnesota--Duluth for three years before joining the San Jose Sharks organization in 2009. He played two years for their AHL affiliate, where he put up good but not terribly impressive numbers.

Stalock was seriously injured by a skate blade to his knee in 2011, derailing his development. He ended up on a stint in the ECHL to rehab the injury, came back to the AHL, and made his way up to NHL backup status for the 2013-2014 season.

He is in the midst of his third full season in the NHL.

Stalock signed a two-year deal in the summer of 2014, coming off an impressive first NHL season and with a good showing in limited playoff minutes.


Adjusted Save %

High Danger Save %

2013-2014 regular season




2013-2014 playoffs




(All stats in this post are from War on Ice.)

That regular season high-danger save percentage was fifth in the league among goalies with at least 300 minutes played, and that may be what led the Sharks to think they had a keeper.

By the following summer, the bloom was truly off the rose.


Adjusted Save %

High Danger Save %

2014-2015 regular season




2014-2015 playoffs


His performance was much less stellar, with a particular drop in high-danger saves, and the Sharks, of course, failed to make the playoffs. His high-danger percentage fell so far, he was sixth worst of goalies who played at least 300 minutes.

In August of last year, Fear the Fin writer Like a Bossk, laid it all out, and even predicted the Reimer trade. Stalock had to show this year that his one great year was not a fluke or he'd be gone as a pending UFA.


Adjusted Save %

High Danger Save %

2015-2016 regular season




He didn't prove it; in fact he's been worse, and he was traded in for a major upgrade in James Reimer. Reimer, in fact, has to be seen as challenging Martin Jones as the starter.

What's this all mean for the Leafs?

Stalock is primarily a seat filler—no different from the people in fancy clothes who rush in and take a spot vacated by a star who gets up to go on stage at the Oscars, he's there to fill a spot until the Leafs decide who their goalies will be as they start building the New Toronto Maple Leafs.

In the interim, Stalock can fill the seat, and the Leafs aren't trying to win—yes even I will call it a tank now that they've traded Reimer—and the opportunity now exists to get the measure of Jonathan Bernier once and for all. That is assuming he's still a Leaf beyond Monday morning.

There's another opportunity here, and that's the chance to get the measure of Garret Sparks and Antoine Bibeau, to possibly see more of Rob Madore with the Marlies as well.

And for next year? Lou really left that door open with these remarks:

But at age 27, neither Reimer nor Bernier look like the star of the future for the Leafs. The questions the Leafs need to answer should be about Sparks and Bibeau. And if they aren't it then find the one who can be the star.

This is the New Toronto Maple Leafs. They shouldn't accept anything but the very best.