I talked to Alex Auld tonight, and he was very excited about the move to Dallas.
He had fun in Ottawa, but he knows Marc Crawford, Andy Moog and Joe Nieuwendyk, and he likes what he sees in Dallas.
``I know my role, and I'm confident I can help out,'' he said. ``I think it makes it a lot easier when I know who I'll be working with. I don't know Marty (Turco) well, but I know a lot about him, and I think we'll get along well.''
Auld has had some solid seasons, including taking over in Vancouver when Dan Cloutier was injured and helping the Canucks out with a 33-26-6 record.
He was included in the trade to Florida that brought the Canucks Roberto Luongo, and he was expected to be the Panthers' No. 1 goalie. However, he lost out on that job to Ed Belfour and left as a free agent afterward. He said the Florida experience really was a slap in the face.
``It was hard, and there were times I wondered if I was going to be able to stay in the league,'' he said. ``But you learn from it, you dig in, and you make yourself better. That's what I think I did.''
Auld was pushed out of Phoenix by Ilya Bryzgalov and then was traded to Boston, where he did a solid job backing up Tim Thomas in 2007-08. He went 9-7-5 with a 2.32 GAA and .919 save percentage.
That created interest from Ottawa, and the Senators signed him to a two-year deal at $1 million a season to be their backup.
He played 43 games because of injuries to other goalies and went 16-18-7 with a 2.47 GAA and a .911 save percentage.
The Senators acquired Pascal Leclaire late last season, and that made Auld expendable.
``These least two years, I think I learned a lot about being a backup, about supporting the top guy and pushing the top guy,'' he said. ``It's been a great learning experience, playing with all of these teams. You realize that it's your job to stop the puck, and that's all you can worry about. That's how you help the team the most.''
Nieuwendyk, who moved a sixth round draft pick in 2010 to get Auld, said he liked the fact that everyone was familiar with one another.
``It's an important position for us, and I think it's very important that the coach has confidence in this player,'' Nieuwendyk said. ``I know this coach has confidence in this player.''
And while he wouldn't say it, he knew that wasn't the case last season.