It was a busy Thursday for the Missouri Mavericks.
The Mavericks had acquired the rights to goaltender Josh Robinson from the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL earlier in the week, and the team learned Thursday that he is going to report to the Mavs this weekend.
Later in the day, the Mavericks traded forward David Rutherford to the Ontario Reign for forward Geoff Walker.
“Geoff is proven player at the American Hockey League level,” Mavericks coach Richard Matvichuk said of the 27-year old, 6-foot-3, 225-pound, right wing. “He brings size, grit, scoring ability and toughness to our lineup. We are very excited to get him into the lineup.”
Walker split his time over the past seven seasons between the ECHL, CHL and the AHL, playing 42 games with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch during the 2013-14 season, and three games with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades. Before going to Syracuse, he played 3 1/2 seasons in the AHL with the Manchester Monarchs, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Lake Erie Monsters.
The Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, native spent the first half of this season with the Reign, notching 12 goals, 14 assists and 31 penalty minutes in 35 games.
Rutherford had scored six goals and added 14 assists through 35 games for the Mavericks.
“I really like David, but he just wasn’t getting it done here,” Matvichuk said. “He’s a player with a lot of talent. I believe he just needs a change of scenery. I think this will help him and we wish him all the best.”
Matvichuk said the arrival of Robinson will create even more competition at the goaltender position.
“We want to be a better team and we think this will make us a better team,” Matvichuk said.
Robinson, who was 13-7-1 with a 2.58 goals-against average for the Idaho Steelheads last season (while on loan from Elmira). He was on team suspension with Elmira and was playing for a team in Austria when he got the call from the Mavericks.
“He’s going to be here as soon as he can get here from Austria,” Matvichuk said. “For the time being, we’re going to have three goaltenders. We’ll just have to see how it all plays out.”
Mike Clemente (6-11-0-1, 2.98 GGA) and Maxime Lagace (5-6-2-1, 3.01) are the Mavericks’ current goaltenders.
“I am by no means saying they are the reason for our recent losses,” said Matvichuk, whose team has lost seven in a row overall and seven consecutive games at the Independence Events Center, where they play host to the Tulsa Oilers tonight at 7:05.
“We need to score some goals, everyone knows that. We had the chance to get a solid goaltender and we got him.”
Robinson, a Frankenmuth, Michigan, native, who played four years at Michigan Tech University, began his pro career with Idaho in 2012-13, going 28-8-4 with a 2.57 GAA and a .925 save percentage. He started last season with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League, going 6-6 with a 3.30 goals-against average and an .882 save percentage before ending the year with Idaho.
He was 11-8-0 with a 3.82 GAA and .885 save percentage for Szekeshfehervar Alba Volan HC of Austria this season.