Sick of listening to about Sergei Bobrovsky but? Too dangerous, as a result of he’s about to turn out to be probably the greatest goalie signings of the NHL’s salary-cap period.
Extremely regarded beginning goalies don’t usually present up on the unrestricted free-agent market, and Bobrovsky, a two-time Vezina Trophy recipient, led the NHL with 9 shutouts this previous season and was instrumental in main Columbus to a playoff spot on the second-last day of the common season.
When you imagine the hypothesis, there gained’t be a lot drama on July 1: Bobrovsky, and fellow Russian and Blue Jackets teammate Artemi Panarin, are anticipated to go to Florida, with Bobrovsky taking on the beginning function from the not too long ago retired Roberto Luongo. With Bobrovsky nonetheless in his prime at 30, the time is now for the Panthers to go all-in and get one of many NHL’s high goaltenders over the previous 5 years.
After all, that’s all simply conjecture, however it might be a great match. The Panthers have some stable gamers up entrance, however are desperately missing a goaltender able to taking them on an extended playoff run. Bobrovsky could not have a lot playoff expertise previous the primary spherical, however he has spent his profession on mediocre groups. Panarin and Bobrovsky are precisely what the Panthers have to hit the subsequent degree and turn out to be true contenders, however they’re not all the things.
Bobrovsky is well the perfect goalie accessible this summer season. A deal within the $Eight-9-million vary is to be anticipated as groups chase the Russian star. However the expertise degree drops off after that, with no different goaltender hitting the 50-game mark this season. It’s nonetheless a great UFA class on the subject of No. 1B and backup goaltenders, which is nearly as priceless as having a great starter. Listed below are a few of the different high goalies to look at over the subsequent few days:
Robin Lehner, 27 (2018-19: $1.5 million)Lehner discovered a solution to revive his profession higher than anybody else this previous season: coming off of private points and a few up-and-down seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Lehner performed his finest hockey with the New York Islanders, profitable the Jennings Trophy and Masterton Trophy in a marketing campaign that noticed him fall simply wanting the Vezina Trophy. However now, his subsequent contract turns into difficult. He was probably the greatest goalies within the league in 2018-19 however his profession physique of labor hasn’t been the identical caliber. It’s understood that Lehner and the Islanders will not be shut on a brand new deal and he may search $5-6 million on the open market.
Petr Mrazek, 27 (2018-19: $1.5 million)Similar to Lehner, Mrazek had a breakthrough season after signing an similar deal. Carolina rotated by three goalies early within the season earlier than Mrazek took over and led the Hurricanes to a shock playoff look and was stable within the playoffs earlier than an damage within the second spherical. Mrazek remains to be younger at 27 and is in his prime, so the Hurricanes ought to look to maintain him for just a few years. Mrazek is ready for a pleasant payday, however he’s not the one goaltender the Hurricanes want to fret about this summer season…
Curtis McElhinney, 36 (2018-19: $850,000)McElhinney’s worth as a backup goaltender is undisputed. He was necessary in Toronto throughout his stint there and saved the Hurricanes afloat after Mrazek’s playoff damage. He’s enjoying a few of the finest hockey of his profession – in truth, he hit 20 wins for the primary time in his profession in simply 33 video games – and groups can be lining up for his companies for $1 million this summer season. Alex Nedeljkovic’s high goaltender standing within the AHL and the acquisition of Anton Forsberg from Chicago implies that McElhinney isn’t anticipated again in Raleigh.
Semyon Varlamov, 31 (2018-19: $5.9 million)Colorado had one of many staff’s finest campaigns in latest seasons, however Varlamov isn’t the one to thank for it. Philipp Grubauer took over the beginning function for good in mid-season and completed with a 20-19-9 file with a 2.87 GAA and .909. At 31, it’s unlikely Varlamov is desirous about taking a backup function and with Pavel Francouz anticipated to assist Grubauer subsequent yr in Denver, Varlamov must discover employment elsewhere, and positively at a less expensive charge than his $5.9-million wage from this season. A brand new residence may spark life into probably the greatest goalies from the early 2010s who remains to be younger sufficient to again a staff for no less than one other 4 to 5 years at $four million per season.
Mike Smith, 37 (2018-19: $5.66 million)Smith was inconsistent and sometimes struggled through the common season and was ultimately outplayed by David Rittich for the beginning job. Nonetheless, Smith can be probably the greatest backup choices available on the market this summer season and will fill a 1A/1B function for a staff on the lookout for a netminder able to 15-20 wins a yr with out a difficulty on a $1-2-million deal.
Keith Kinkaid, 29 (2018-19: $1.25 million)Kinkaid is a really fascinating choice this summer season. On one hand, he performed properly in New Jersey and was the staff’s beginning goalie for a great portion of the season. However he was traded to Columbus on the commerce deadline for a fifth-round decide to assist in giving Mackenzie Blackwood the beginning function, with Kinkaid not enjoying in a single recreation with the Blue Jackets. Kinkaid just isn’t a long-term beginning goalie within the NHL on a great staff, however he’s actually good in spurts and also you’d be assured in giving him 30-35 begins a yr if wanted, particularly on a deal value $1-1.5 million subsequent season.
Cam Talbot, 31 (2018-19: $1.5 million)Again in 2016-17, Talbot performed in practically each recreation for Edmonton en path to the staff’s first playoff berth in over a decade. Since then, nevertheless, it’s been a complete downward spiral for the goalie as soon as considered as probably the greatest backups within the league. A tough stint in Edmonton this yr resulted in him getting despatched to Philadelphia previous to the commerce deadline, however he solely performed in 4 video games and was left to look at rookie Carter Hart steal the present. Talbot nonetheless has worth within the NHL and a one-year deal may very well be what’s wanted to spark his recreation once more.
Cam Ward, 35 (2018-19: $Three million)Ward’s stats could not maintain up, however he did precisely what he wanted to do with the struggling Blackhawks: maintain the staff in rivalry and fill in when wanted. Accidents to Corey Crawford made that doable, and with 16 wins on the yr, Ward held up his finish of the cut price. However as one of many oldest goalies accessible available on the market this summer season, Ward’s choices could also be restricted this summer season. He gained’t signal a $Three-million deal once more however is usually a stable choice in reduction appearances for a staff needing backup stability.
Calvin Pickard, 27 (2018-19: $800,000)Pickard’s NHL profession has been an fascinating one. From touchdown Colorado’s beginning function after an damage to Varlamov in 2016-17 to being an AHL backup the subsequent season, Pickard couldn’t discover his footing in Philadelphia or Arizona this yr and is again available on the market this summer season. He had alternatives to show himself once more on two groups with damage issues and he merely fell flat. Pickard appears to be like destined to finish up again within the AHL however he’s ok to name up in damage conditions.
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Tags: free company, record, nhlConnect: In regards to the AuthorSteven EllisSteven Ellis is a Digital Content material Producer for The Hockey Information. He spends his free time listening to music you would not like and watches obnoxiously-long motor races.