The signing of goaltender Thomas Greiss this offseason was a questionable one, but nonetheless a solid pickup by general manager Jim Rutherford.
The German-born netminder, who backed up Mike Smith last season for the Arizona Coyotes, had a great 2013-14 campaign, recording a save percentage of .920 and a GAA of 2.29 over the course of 25 games.
While he no doubt is becoming a strong candidate for a starting NHL job, the 28-year-old will be competing against one of the more familiar faces in the league in Marc-Andre Fleury.
Despite Fleury’s past postseason issues, he has proved time and time again that he is a great regular-season goalie. Refer to his stats in this link here.
Greiss doesn’t want to be a backup goalie anymore, and Rutherford most likely saw that when he noticed his name was available in the 2014 free-agent pool. Fleury was probably the first player to take note of his GM’s signing.
Look for Greiss to be a motivational piece for “Flower” this regular season. Fleury knows his job isn’t for the title of regular-season netminder, but for the role of backing his club to it's next Stanley Cup championship. Having a solid, up-and-coming presence behind Fleury should help him and his teammates accomplish this.
However, Griess knows he has the talent to be that man too, and he will be gunning for Fleury down the long road that is the NHL season.