Shaky goaltending situations never lead to Stanley Cups.
With the trade deadline quickly approaching, there are a few net minders who could solidify some teams playoff runs.
Giguere has been a name long in the rumor mill. It appears that his time in Toronto may be coming to an end since he's very open to waiving his no trade clause for the chance to relocate. Considering the Maple Leafs need help all over, trading away Giguere before enters free agency makes sense.
When it comes to suitors many will be quick to throw out the usual suspects like the Capitals, Avalanche, Sharks and Lightning.
However, Atlanta could make sense and would give them a solid pair in the crease with Ondrej Pavelec and Giguere. The young Thrashers several lapses could be masked by this duo.
Especially in the playoffs when Byfuglien, Kane and company will need to play with a little reckless abandon to propel the Thrashers to a serious run. If the playoffs were to start today they would have the task of squaring off against the Flyers.
For Toronto, the next few years needs to be about acquiring future talent and making shrewd moves that won't hamstring them when they rise back to prominence. Getting a pick or two can begin the replenishment process.
Expect Toronto to be active and Giguere to be in a different uniform by the deadline.
Gustavsson has not yet been rumored to be on the move, but I figured since Brian Burke will do anything to improve the team he might try to trade both of the netminders.
Burke has had a rough time trying to instantly turn the Maple Leafs into contenders. The team is broke and there are no superstar deals that can correct the flaws.
Even though Gustavsson will likely not be dealt, they would be right to explore what kind of return they could get for him. If it's some package of picks or cap relief then they must consider every and any option to get this once proud franchise headed back towards respectability.
Let me be the first to say I was shocked when Nabokov refused to join the Islanders. Ok, I'm kidding!
Nabokov enters the home stretch as the best move for the goaltending starved contenders. However, some teams have stated they won't enter the sweepstakes. The Capitals appear to be content with the young netminder tandem, but that's a situation worth monitoring and could change. And change quickly.
Then there is the matter of interested non-contenders.
The Islanders claim was laughable and rumored interest from the Senators and the Devils makes no sense.
At 35, Nabokov looks locked in to three idea of playing for a serious contender. That makes Tampa Bay, Washington, Atlanta, Colorado and Chicago intriguing destinations. Each have netminders they like, but don't completely trust. Nabokov would be best suited to come into a situation that will allow him to work his way back into the flow of the NHL.
Since there is no doubt he'll have a new home it would make sense that the first team to struggle out of that group will make the move. The Nabokov domino could be the first to fall and could provide clarity to the goaltender market. Whoever misses out on him will scour the trade market and move quickly to address their issues.
Johan Hedberg's trade value may not be as high as others mentioned in this article, but he's also more likely to move along since he will be cheap both cap and trade-wise.
Another great part about Hedberg is he makes sense going anywhere. He's a backup and knows his role, but could land on a non-contender and play the role of a #1 goalie.
The difficult part of this potential move is narrowing down his destinations considering he'll probably garner more consideration by teams that could be in need of a quick goaltending solution. For instance if a contender loses a goalie for any extended period of time, it would make sense for Devils GM Lou Lamoriello to make a move then for a better return in the transaction.
Hedberg's not a blockbuster name so he's likely to be moved along.
It's weird seeing the Devils in this situation, but yes both goaltenders are available. Strange times indeed.
Brodeur landing in the rumor mill makes sense, but a deal being made is very unlikely. The Devils need to be blown away and Brodeur hasn't performed well enough to inspire some team to give away the farm to acquire the future Hall-of-Famer. He also comes with another year on his contract valued at $5.2 million. That and being 38 years old makes any interested team pause out of fear of the worst.
This doesn't mean that a deal is out of the question. It does mean mega-deal involving the exchange of superstars is improbable like the idealized Brodeur to the Capitals for defensemen Mike Green.
Of course the ideal move for Brodeur would be back to Montreal, but how about Colorado?
The Avalanche have the third-most cap room meaning they could easily absorb Brodeur's contract and offer the Devils a variety of packages. The Devils could use their legendary netminder's value as a way to piggy back some of the other awful contracts with him. Colorado would also be a nice place for Brodeur to play out the rest of his years. He's performed at the highest level his position has ever seen, but it was in the anonymity of New Jersey.
Other opportunities might open up between now and then, but based on a mutual need this works very well. Brodeur for a first round pick and prospect sounds good.
According to the Ottawa Sun, the Panthers are prepared to clean house. With Vokoun at the end of the road in Florida and it makes sense for the Panthers to trade him now instead of lose him for nothing.
Given that he's a starting netminder, they're are few situations where a starter is needed.
The Flyers could see a fit here, but Vokoun's salary cap hit ($5.7 million this season) could be a little too rich for Philadelphia to take without sending contracts back to Florida in return. Given Florida's poor attendance numbers (22nd in the league), they need to either have a fire sale or import a huge name.
Vokoun and the rest of the tradable assets look to be moved instead of held together in the hopes they can sign a franchise player that turns this cast of role players into a serious threat in the league.
Vokoun's skill level is still good enough to net a nice return. The return figures to be an integral part of the renovation project in South Florida.
Much like Johan Hedberg, Clemensen is a cheap back up with the ability to shoulder the load in times of dire straits.
Unlike Hedberg, Clemensen has a better grip on what it takes to remain focused playing behind a workhorse like a Martin Brodeur. Don't underestimate the value of that ignored skill.
His low cap number ($1.2 million) also makes him an attractive option for those rebuilding as well as those looking to shore up their backup goalie position.
This makes him a candidate to end up just bout anywhere.
Unlike the veterans goalies, Schneider has been rumored to be available with the Canucks looking to acquire a player who can help them now.
With Roberto Luongo in the prime of his career, Schneider figures to be available since he's worth more to Vancouver as a trade chip to address their need for another scoring forward or defensemen to keep them at the top of the Western Conference heading into the playoffs.
At 24 years old, Schneider could make sense for several teams. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun thinks the Senators should make a bid to acquire Schneider.
If the price is right then Schneider could become the goalie of the future in several different cities starved for some sign that their fortunes will look brighter down the road.
The Kings were supposed to be Bernier's team, but Jonathan Quick refuses to let go and may have convinced the front office to choose him. This means that the Kings have a valuable trading chip and other teams in need of solid goaltending will be approaching Los Angeles.
According to CapGeek.com, Bernier is under contract for this season and another three after this year. After that he becomes a restricted free agent. That's a ton of control over a young building block for any wayward franchise to invest in.
As far back as a few weeks ago, the feeling was that Bernier wouldn't get the Kings a top-notch forward they desire. This may still ring true.
However, there will be a need to augment the Los Angeles lineup by the deadline and as of 1/23/11 they are still on the outsoide of the playoff picture. That won't help them take the next steps towards dominance and cup contention.
Moving Bernier in a deal to the Maple Leafs would make a lot of sense. With their interest in a player like defensemen Tomas Kaberle, it seems that both teams could reach a mutually beneficial deal
Mike Smith was supposed to become Tampa Bay's goaltender of the future, but he's fallen so far out of grace that the Lightning went out and acquired the ageless one, Dwayne Roloson.
Smith's potential has eroded and he's nothing more than a minor league player now.
But we know there is always a general manager who sees this situation differently. Considering how cheaply Smith can be had for there could a suitable situation for him like a backup role in Toronto if they move Giguere along.
His cap number is manageable and that figures to make him a likely candidate move along as a part of a package or individually for way less than Tampa Bay paid for him. Wasted potential always stings a little more when you unload it for nothing.
Theodore could be on the move if the wild either fall out of contention or feel that they can get something a value in return.
Theodore will most likely be traded to an Eastern Conference team considering the Wild are fighting for a postseason berth. Likely candidates could be anyone from the Rangers to the Penguins. It makes sense for a team in contention to acquire Theodore on a rental basis since he'll be an unrestricted free agent at season's end.
Theodore lacks any solid value as a featured goalie on a non-playoff team since he's never going to be the player he once was. It's sad, but he's nothing better than a potential backup for a contender.