OAKVILLE, ON — Despite signing with EHC Biel in Switzerland for next season, Robert Mayer has decided to nullify his contract in hopes of staying in North America for next
season. Mayer had originally signed a two year contract with the Swiss team in February, however the pact included a clause that would prohibit him from leaving the team during his deal. Biel decided, after hearing the news that Mayer would not join for the upcoming season, to sign Lukas Meili, a 21 year old netminder who would have been stuck behind Martin Gerber with the Kloten Flyers.
Biel stated in their press release that the two-year contract signed in February with Mayer, who would replace Calgary Flames goaltender Reto Berra, is still not terminated, however they “will assert its claims against the player by a lawsuit if necessary, in case (its) application for damages would not be satisfied”.
Mayer, 23, signed a three year entry-level deal with the Montreal Canadiens back in 2008. Mayer has mainly struggled for the Bulldogs but recently has picked up his game. In 38 games this season, he has a 16-17-3-0 record with a 2.93 GAA and .908 save percentage. During the 2011-2012 campaign as the back-up to Nathan Lawson, Mayer recorded a 14-18-1 record with a 2.94 goals against average and a .909 save percentage. With solid positioning and a great glove hand, Mayer has the potential to be much better than what he has shown so far, however after three seasons in the AHL, his time wasn’t all too impressive. He did steal multiple games for the Bulldogs this past season that saw the team miss the playoffs, but his reliability is still questioned.
The acquisition of Dustin Tokarski from Tampa Bay in return for Cedrick Desjardins offered Montreal a reliable starting goaltender, which is likely the reason why Mayer chose to sign in Switzerland in the first place. The Canadiens still own his rights, and with Peter Budaj signed as the backup in Montreal, it’s likely Mayer will just return to Hamilton, while Peter Delmas sticks in the ECHL. Mayer did get a bit of NHL action this year, replacing Budaj in the final playoff game of the year against the Ottawa Senators. Also in the mix will be former Princeton goaltender Mike Condon who was recently signed to a two-year deal by the organization.
Quick and fundamentally-sound, Mayer doesn’t tend to slide out of position when following a pass, and his glove hand is just magnificent. Mayer comes out of his crease quickly to play the angle, something Desjardins didn’t do all too well, but he does let in his fair share of soft goals. He has the potential to be a decent NHL goaltender, but the question is whether he can develop some consistency.
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