Detroit Red Wings: Analyzing Potential Backup Goalies for 2012-2013

Matt Davidson@MattDavidson22Contributor IIIMay 29, 2012

DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 08:  Joey MacDonald #31 of the Detroit Red Wings is congratulated by Ty Conklin #29 after a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers at Joe Louis Arena on February 8, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Most of the Red Wings' summer plans seem to revolve around whether or not they can sign big names like Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. Falling in the shadow of these plans is what the Wings are hoping to do with their backup goalie position.

Dominik Hasek is hinting that he may make yet another return to the NHL and, having played for the Red Wings before, may want to play with them again. He said that he has a team in mind that he would like to play for, but does not feel that now is the time to reveal which team that is.

Being 47, does Hasek have what it will take to compete at the NHL level once again?

He has shown that he has been able to play at a high level in the past, playing in the All-Star game five times (missing a sixth due to injury), winning the Vezina Trophy six times, and taking home two Stanley Cups, among other awards.

Through his career, Hasek has played in 735 games (starting in 714 of them), has 389 wins, a 2.20 goals against average, a .922 save percentage, and 81 shutouts. These numbers speak for themselves, but keep in mind, he was not 47 years old when he posted them.

Other than the Red Wings, the Tampa Bay Lightning are another team that could use his services, but is Steve Yzerman going to consider a 47-year-old goalie when Dwayne Roloson is starting to slump and is five years younger than Hasek?

The Dominator definitely has the resume to earn a spot on an NHL roster for next season, but his age will cause problems for him in signing with a team.

The Wings could also consider looking at Tomas Vokoun as a potential backup goaltender. The Washington Capitals gave him a shot this past season and ended up having a goalie carousel for most of the season.

In 2011-2012, he posted a 25-17-2 record with a 2.51 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. Also, being 35 years old, Vokoun has probably seen the best of his years already, and can really only hope for a backup position at this point.

Having skipped around the league over the past several years (playing in Montreal, Nashville, Florida, and Washington), Vokoun may have the knowledge and experience to be an effective mentor to Jimmy Howard and provide relief for Howard every once in a while.

He would probably be a safer bet than Dominik Hasek for the Red Wings, but again, only at a backup position. His inconsistency and problems with injury while in Washington have relegated him to the "backup only" category. But having been involved in the NHL over the past several years, and being 12 years younger than Hasek, qualify him to be a better choice.

Then we have current Red Wings Ty Conklin and Joey MacDonald.

Much like Tomas Vokoun, Ty Conklin has skipped around the league and provided a mostly backup role for various teams. His most recent stop was his second stint with the Detroit Red Wings. During his first stint, Conklin proved himself as a solid backup and helped the Red Wings come within a win of repeating as Stanley Cup Champions in the 2008-09 season.

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 10:  Tomas Vokoun #29 of the Washington Capitals can't stop a shot by Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins in the first period on March 10, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

He then moved on to St. Louis for two seasons. He posted good numbers in the 2009-2010 campaign and then dwindled in the 2010-2011 before returning to the Wings for the 2011-2012 season. His numbers stumbled even more and so Joey MacDonald was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins and given an opportunity.

MacDonald came up huge for the Red Wings when Jimmy Howard was plagued by injury. He took over the starting position and continued the home-winning streak for the last six games of it, extending the streak up to 23 consecutive home wins.

Overall during his time in the 2011-2012 season, MacDonald put up an 8-5-1 record with a 2.16 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. Also, being 32 years old, he is the youngest of the potential backups for the Red Wings and probably the most affordable.

With such lucrative opportunities for the Red Wings this summer, Joey MacDonald has to be the best choice to backup Jimmy Howard because of how he filled in this past season, his age, and his affordability.


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