Despite being part of a the Ontario hockey league championship victory and having the Memorial Cup tournament coming up next, it hasn’t been a great end to the season – on a personal note – for Scott Stajcer. Stajcer’s future professional career and last few weeks in junior have been affected by the musical chairs being played in the Owen Sound Net. Despite these musical chairs in net, Owen Sound managed to come back in impressive fashion against the Mississauga St Mike’s Majors to win 3 of the last 4 games and claim the championship in thrilling style, winning game seven 3-2 in overtime.
During the game 7 victory Scott Stajcer didn’t even find himself in uniform as Jordan Binnington was in net and the previously impressive Michael Zador – who took Stajcer’s place – was named back up. Game 6 was the same set up in goal while Stajcer was in net for game 5 (conceding 5) before being replaced by Zador. Indeed, each of the three goalies saw significant ice time during the finals series and given the short leash being used by Owen Sound, who knows who will get the bulk of the playing time in the Memorial Cup, being held later this month.
Despite losing playing time Stajcer’s overall playoff numbers have been solid, even if they came back to earth in his final few games. He boasted an 8-4 record, a .909% and a 2.79GAA; all solid numbers but admittedly not nearly as good as just a few games ago. Stajcer’s next steps in the hockey world are a lot less clear than they were before the OHL finals began. Given the lack of depth in the Rangers organisation Stajcer may yet receive a contract but what seemed a sure thing a little while ago is no longer that. With an injury prone season almost behind him, maybe the Rangers should look to get him into the fold by other means (AHL contract?) and make him play a full year at a lesser level to see if he is deserving of a NHL deal but that’s pure speculation on my part. Benefiting from good size and clearly talented it would be a shame if Benny Alleire and the Rangers didn’t at least try and work with the young goalie and turn Stajcer into something better.