It may be difficult to comprehend, yet the market for NHL goalies in 2020-21 may be similar to an expensive flea market. There could be up to 32 goalies possibly being moved. Now, some are rumours, to be honest. Yet, teams are strapped financially due to the pandemic. The salary cap is being held at $81.5 million for the time being.
2020-21 NHL Goalies Market
When we researched this it was honestly quite surprising how many NHL goalies have expiring contracts (21), with 11 others being rumours. Some rumours could come to fruition, or just be chatter in the end. This season’s end will see many NHL teams jockeying for goalies at a reasonable price. Teams don’t want to be spending $8-$11 million on two goalies. The two clubs with an excess of $10 million paid to their goalies include the Montreal Canadiens ($14.85M), and the Florida Panthers ($10.85M). Of course, that is due to two really large contracts to the Canadiens’ Carey Price ($10.5M) and Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky ($10M). Leaving very little wiggle room when a team may need a blueliner or a forward to supplement their roster.
Which Goalies Could be on the Move
- Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Miller ($2M) may retire, he is 40-year-old after all. To say there’s a team out there who may want him is assuming quite a bit.
- Arizona Coyotes: Antti Raanta ($4.25M) has a contract through the next season, but is injury prone and may be dealt… especially if the team keeps Darcy Kuemper.
- Arizona Coyotes: Darcy Kuemper ($4.5M) has a contract through 2022-23 but the team may do a rebuild and he is a commodity worth considering being dealt. He could be used to acquire some draft picks or good prospects down the road.
- Vegas Golden Knights: Marc-Andre Fleury ($7M) has a contract through 2022-23 and he too may be gone with the emergence of Robin Lehner. Lehner is expected to sign with the team anytime now. Fleury could possibly wind up where he started in Pittsburgh.
- Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Murray ($628,333) is a restricted free agent thus his rights would need to traded. He could also have the option to re-sign at the right price. However, the Penguins cap issues might force a move.
- Pittsburgh Penguins: Tristan Jarry ($630,833) is also an RFA and how weird is it for one team to have two RFA goalies in the same year? Will he or Murray be gone?
- Toronto Maple Leafs: Frederik Andersen ($5M) has a contract through 2020-21 but has been rumoured to be on the move as one of the steps to get the team further into the postseason.
- Carolina Hurricanes: James Reimer ($3.4M) has a contract through 2020-21 and the ‘Canes are interested in upgrading their goaltending with Darcy Kuemper specifically on their radar.
- Philadelphia Flyers: Brian Elliott ($2M) is an unrestricted free agent who is 35-years-old but a good backup for a team interested.
Here’s Some to Think About
- Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford ($6M) is a UFA and will be 36-years-old at the end of December. Which is about the predicted start time of the 2020-21 season. Will he stay or will he go?
- Chicago Blackhawks: Malcolm Subban ($850,000) is an RFA and it’s more of what the Pens are going through with both goalies possibly going elsewhere. Nah, Crawford will be back, right?
- Nashville Predators: Pekka Rinne ($5M) is under contract through the 2020-21 season but is another older netminder starting to show his age. Preds need to decide who their starter is next season.
- Washington Capitals: Braden Holtby ($6.1M) is a UFA and will likely be heading elsewhere. His salary is a bit too much for the talent-rich Capitals. Ilya Samsonov looks to take over between the posts next season.
- New York Islanders: Thomas Greiss ($3.3M) is a UFA and at 34-years-old his value as a steady backup may find him a new home. The question is where he may go. Don’t you love the drama?
- Edmonton Oilers: Mike Smith ($2M) is another UFA ageing goalie who has lost some of his edge. The Oilers are also VERY interested in the services of Kuemper.
- Minnesota Wild: Devan Dubnyk ($4.33M) is in a deal through next season at a pretty steep price considering his deflating stats. His .890 save percentage and 3.35 goals-against-average will not make it easy to move him. Still, I’d be checking into a moving company, Devan.
- San Jose Sharks: Aaron Dell ($1.9M) is a UFA and could be gone. His last two seasons have not been kind to him after the previous two years were pretty decent.
Wait, There’s More…
- Vancouver Canucks: Jacob Markstrom ($3.67M) is another UFA looking to cash in on his performance of late. He could get his wish of at least $5-$6M per season. Even with Thatcher Demko‘s excellent showing in the playoffs while Markstrom was injured.
- Vancouver Canucks: Louis Domingue ($1.15M) has been around and is a UFA after this season. He’s been on four teams in his six-year NHL career. He won’t be re-signed is Markstrom is back, so anybody need a backup goalie?
- New York Rangers: Alexandar Georgiev ($792,500) is an RFA and looks to grab a spot between the pipes as he and/or Igor Shesterkin look to be the future in the net. Sorry, Henrik Lundqvist, you may get bought out. As they say, the NHL is a business.
- New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist($8.5M) has a contract through next season, but at that price and with the youth that is performing well in net, it may be prudent to buy out Henrik’s contract.
- Boston Bruins: Tuukka Rask ($7M) has a deal through next season, but fell from grace as he saw fit to leave the bubble during the playoffs. Whether that means he could be dealt is a matter of believing rumours. Take it for what it’s worth.
- Dallas Stars: Anton Khudobin ($2.5M) is a UFA and has performed off the charts in the playoffs. This opportunity comes as Ben Bishop is recovering from an injury. He seems to be the more financially attractive netminder on the Stars.
- Dallas Stars: Ben Bishop ($4.92M) has a deal through the 2022-23 season, so if the team wants to unload him they could save some cap space to use going forward. Khudobin has been remarkable in the postseason coming up huge.
We’re Almost There
- Winnipeg Jets: Laurent Brossoit ($1.23M) is a UFA and has been an average backup to Connor Hellebuyck with a .890 save percentage and a 3.35 goals-against-average. He could stay or could go… decisions, decisions.
- Calgary Flames: Cam Talbot ($2.75M) is a UFA and at 33-years-old he may be slowing down. Yet, in the postseason he showed up big with a 2.42 goals-against-average and a stellar .924 save percentage. That is a difficult call for the Flames.
- Los Angeles Kings: Jonathan Quick ( $5.8M) is another goalie who has been rumoured to be on the move. However, he’s still in La-la land. Quick’s deal is good through 2022-23. While newcomer Calvin Petersen may be the future, are Quick’s days quickly disappearing?
- Colorado Avalanche: Michael Hutchinson ($700,000) was an emergency fill-in when the Av’s were having endless injuries pop up with their goalies. He’s surely expendable so he may seek other employment.
- New Jersey Devils: Mackenzie Blackwood ( $697,500) was instrumental in the net this past season. He collected reasonably good stats on such a horrible team. He was in 47 games with a 2.77 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage. Not bad for a team that finished with just 68 points.
- Buffalo Sabres: Linus Ullmark ($1.33M) is an RFA who performed well with a bad Sabres team. He had a 2.69 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage. With Carter Hutton ageing and turning 35-years-old at the end of the calendar year, Ullmark has to be considered to stay put.
- Detroit Red Wings: Jimmy Howard ($4M) has already stated that he intends to test free agency as he is a UFA. He feels he can still play, so we’ll see. At 36-years-old, that’s debatable.
Last But Not Least
- Ottawa Senators: Craig Anderson ($4.75M) is another UFA looking to see if he can still compete. He is 39-years-old and the team has two qualified goalies in Anders Nilsson and Marcus Hogberg. Does someone want Anderson? We’ll see soon.
Look For Fast And Furious Activity
Many of these goaltenders may be on the move, so keep a close watch here to see what happens. As always we will keep you informed as to which goalies are moved and where they go. It may be the most activity in a while as far as goaltenders go. This ought to be intriguing, to say the least.