Six Goalies on the Trading Block This Summer
There are a few teams looking to pick up a new goaltender this offseason, including Calgary and Buffalo. Fortunately for them, there is no real shortage of goaltenders who could be dealt by their General Managers. Here are six goalies who may be on the move this summer.
Jimmy Howard lost his starting job to the young Petr Mrazek during the 2014-15 playoffs, and Mrazek has hardly looked back. He split time with Howard throughout the 2015-16 campaign, but was clearly the better goaltender throughout. Howard has been replaced as the starting goaltender in Detroit, and with a cap hit north of $5 million, there’s no sense in keeping him around.
Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland will continue working the phones this summer and try to make a deal. However, it is likely that he will have to hold on to some salary if he is going to be able to unload Howard.
The star Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender has faced a series of injuries at inopportune times throughout his career, most recently in the 2015-16 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In Bishop’s absence, backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy played quite well, and has basically earned himself a starting role.
With $5.95 million owed to Bishop in his final season under contract, and a ton of free agents or restricted free agents to worry about over the next two years, it looks like it will be in Steve Yzerman’s best interest to deal Bishop now and get a return and some cap relief while he has the chance.
Brian Elliott certainly isn’t eating away the salary cap dollars like some of the other goaltenders on this list, but he does have several things going against him. First, he’s a 31 year old goaltender and may not be worthy of a long term deal. He’s a free agent at the end of next season, and will likely be seeking a raise over his current $2.5 million salary. Finally, with Jake Allen already stealing many starts at age 25, it would make more sense to sign him to a long term deal as the numbe one rather than Elliott.
Elliott has been a staple of the St. Louis Blues organization for five years now, but with several other big name pending free agents, the Blues may look a lot different next season.
Marc-Andre Fleury very well may have played his last game for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was eclipsed as the starter by a young Matt Murray, who eventually led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup Championship. With his outstanding play, Murray could have arguably been considered for the Conn Smythe Trophy.
The Penguins could certainly use some salary cap relief, and with Fluery eating up a salary of $5.75 million, he seems like the perfect fit to be dealt.
Frederik Andersen is a younger goalie at only 26 years old, but already has very stiff competition from the 22 year old John Gibson. Since Andersen is a restricted free agent, it may be in Anaheim’s best interest to trade him away since they already have a number one locked up until at least 2019.
Rumors have circulated recently that the Toronto Maple Leafs may try to acquire Andersen. He would be a good fit with his current RFA status. He also played quite well last season after a rough start, finishing with a record of 22-9-7.
Jaroslav Halak is another goaltender who may have been pushed out of his starting role due to injury. Thomas Greiss took over for the injured Halak during the playoffs, and filled in quite well.
Halak has two more years on his contract with a cap hit of $4.5 million, which isn’t bad for a solid starting goaltender. However, his injury history may make him tougher to move.
Who’s staying, who’s going?
There’s no way to tell right now who will actually be traded this off-season, but it’s very likely that some of these players move. Unfortunately for the GM’s, it’s going to be a tough market as there seem to be more teams wanting to unload goaltenders than there are teams looking to acquire. As it stands now, Calgary, Buffalo, Toronto, and Carolina are heavily rumored to be seeking a new goalie, and only time will tell if one of the aforementioned players finds a new home.