NHL Free Agents 2012: The Top 10 Goalies on the Market and Where They'll Go

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NHL Free Agents 2012: The Top 10 Goalies on the Market and Where They'll Go
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

As we saw throughout this year's playoffs, good goaltending can make or break your team's chances of winning.

We have been lucky to see the likes of Mike Smith, Martin Brodeur and Jon Quick lead their teams through the playoffs and be their top player on a consistent basis. Whether they were a one-season wonder, a savvy veteran or a superstar in the making, they were each their respective team's MVP.

Nonetheless, the goaltending position is one of the key aspects of any team in the NHL. Having a goalie in net that can steal you games is huge. If the players on the team have confidence that their goalies will be there to make that key save, then they are free to play their own games.

So far, the UFA crop of goalies on the market this year has dropped, with some big names already re-signing with their teams, such as Evgeni Nabokov and others being traded to be signed right away, like Tomas Vokoun did with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Even so, there are still numerous goalies out there that should command jobs come next season.

There is an impressive mixture of UFAs for 2012.

They include one of the best goalies ever, some young goalies ready to take a number one job, proven backups and even one that may return to the NHL after a little hiatus.

With only a few weeks separating now and July 1, it is time to start considering where the top free-agent goalies will most likely go. So here are the top 10 on the market and where they are most likely to land before next season.

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