NHL Free Agents 2011: The Top 12 Goalies Available and Odds Where They'll Land
The Stanley Cup Finals are three games in, but most teams are more concerned about their roster next year.
Many are looking to fill a goaltender void, and there aren't many impressive free agent options available.
These are the best goaltenders that will probably hit free agency on July 1st, matched up with the team that will probably sign them by next season.
Alex Auld: Montreal Canadiens
Auld has been with the Canadiens and has been a good backup to goaltender Carey Price. He has done well in that position.
The Canadiens only have two goaltenders in their system. Adding Auld would definitely help them out.
Ty Conklin: Colorado Avalanche
Conklin will be a UFA come July 1st. The former Blues goalie has playoff experience and would be a good backup for any team.
He might not be the guy you want on the ice with a game on the line with a .881 save percentage and 3.22 GAA.
For a team like Colorado, who want to add some good goaltending, Conklin would be a good fit.
Johan Hedberg: San Jose Sharks
Hedberg had a good season last year with the Devils, putting up a save percentage of .912 and a GAA of 2.38.
If he doesn’t stay with New Jersey, he might do well with the Sharks, serving as a backup goalie to Antti Niemi.
Josh Harding: New Jersey Devils
The Minnesota Wild will probably aim to hang on to Dennis Endras next season and let their other goalies Harding and Jose Theodore walk.
Harding is a young goalie, and at almost 27, he has several years left and could help out a New Jersey team with two aging goalies.
Mike Smith: Tampa Bay Lightning
Smith did his job as a great backup goalie for the Lightning this season.
The Lightning may or may not keep Roloson on the roster, but either way, Smith should stay in Tampa Bay.
He did well in the postseason, and while the Lightning don’t want him playing everyday, he’s a great choice when the starting goalie is taken out.
Chris Osgood: Edmonton Oilers
Osgood hasn’t decided if he will retire or not, but if he doesn’t, he’ll be looking for a team to take him on.
He’s past the all-star goalie phase, but can still do the job.
For a team like the Oilers, who already have young goalies, Osgood would serve as a good backup.
Dwayne Roloson: Tampa Bay Lightning or Colorado Avalanche
Tampa Bay is going to consider re-signing both of their goalies who are up for free agency this year.
However, Roloson is 41, and while he did well this season, the Lightning may want to try to improve their backstop and go for someone like Tomas Vokoun.
If that happens, Roloson still has an impressive resume. This season he kept a .914 save percentage with a Goals Allowed Average of 2.59. He would be a good addition to a team like the Colorado Avalanche, who want to improve their goaltenders.
For now, though, the Lightning might be where he stays.
Pascal Leclaire: New York Islanders
With a GAA of 2.83 and a save percentage of .908, Leclaire is not one of the best goalies, but he could easily help out a team.
The New York Islanders are currently going back and forth with Evgeni Nabokov, and will probably end up moving him.
The New York Islanders are looking to improve their goaltending situation, and Leclaire could be the answer.
Marty Turco: Phoenix Coyotes
I doubt that Turco was expected to be out of a job this season, with Corey Crawford exploding on to the scene. With Crawford re-signed already, Turco will probably look to find a new home with more starting opportunities.
The Phoenix Coyotes will probably try to hang on to Ilya Bryzgalov, but if they don’t, I see Turco being a satisfactory goalie. He had a decline last season, leading to Crawford taking over, but if he can get back to where he was, he could make Phoenix very happy.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere: Florida Panthers
Giguere has been a good goaltender, but was plagued with injury last season.
He had never been up to his full potential, and is unsure if he will be returning to Toronto next year.
He says that he is completely healthy now, and he could be a good replacement to the Florida Panthers. If—and probably when—the Panthers are unable to re-sign Vokoun, Giguere could serve as an able goalie.
As long as he can stay healthy, he should be able to keep the team in the game next season.
Tomas Vokoun: Tampa Bay Lightning or Toronto Maple Leafs
Vokoun is one of the best free agent goaltenders this year, and he’s ready to get out of Miami.
His resumé from last season includes a respectable .923 save percentage with a goals against average of 2.57. He’s been the one to keep the Panthers in the game, but after a record 10th straight season without a playoff berth, Vokoun is looking for new surroundings.
Vokoun might be able to stay in Florida. By going to Tampa Bay, he can stay in the state he enjoys and play for a playoff-bound team.
The Lightning currently are looking at resigning Roloson, but at 41 years old, he shouldn’t be looked at as their main guy. If Tampa Bay can afford it, both goalies would be great, but if they can get Vokoun, it would be a huge upgrade.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have also been in the conversation around Vokoun. It’s unsure if anything will come of it, but with the possible departure of Jean Sebastien Giguere, that is another possibility.
Ilya Bryzgalov: Philadelphia Flyers
Bryzgalov and Vokoun are the two goaltenders most teams will be going after this summer. Their stats are comparable, but Bryzgalov is a few years younger.
Last season he kept a 2.48 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. He was a huge part of the Coyotes’ playoff appearance, but didn’t end his year well, as Phoenix was swept by the Detroit Red Wings.
I see Bryzgalov as a good addition to the Philadelphia Flyers. After their playoff run was cut short, Philly’s goaltending situation was proven to be their Achilles’ heel.
Add in a good goalie like Bryzgalov and the Flyers can expect to make a repeat appearance in the postseason, and getting even farther than this year. Bryzgalov has also said that he would love to be a Flyer.
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