Update On The NHL Goaltending Merry-Go-Round


With some movement (and lack thereof) as to resolving some goaltending situations on draft day, there is still a number of players that will need homes and homes that need filling.  By my estimation, there are 15 teams with definite goaltending questions, if not at the starter position, then the backup.

“So, Ilya, You Want to Go Where?”   Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Here is a tour around the league at teams with unsettled goaltending situations:


Boston Bruins:  Tuukka Rask is a RFA and is likely to be resigned, but the contracts signed by Mike Smith and Sergei Bobrovsky drive up his price and makes things difficult for the Bruins. Backup Anton Khudobin is set to become unrestricted on Friday.

Buffalo Sabres:  Still quietly looking to move Ryan Miller and his $6.25M cap hit.  Would likely need to get a cheaper goalie to help Jonas Enroth carry the load.

Columbus Blue Jackets:  Appear to have Sergei Bobrovsky locked up, but still need to secure a backup with Michael Leighton a pending UFA.

Florida Panthers:  Needs to get pending RFA and goalie of the future Jacob Markstrom signed.  Scott Clemmensen has a year left as the backup.

New Jersey Devils:  With Cory Schneider and Martin Brodeur in the fold, they will have to look for a landing spot for Johan Hedberg.

New York Islanders:  Tim Thomas hasn’t made his intentions clear, and Evgeni Nabokov is heading to free agency.  The Isles will be shopping on July 5th.

Philadelphia Flyers:  Right now they have Steve Mason and nothing else.  They will also be shopping to finally solve the Achilles heel of the franchise.

Winnipeg Jets:  Will be looking for a quality backup for Ondrej Pavelec.


Calgary Flames: If rumors of Miikka Kiprusoff‘s retirement are true, then the Flames have a big hole to fill.  They have Joey McDonald and rookie Reto Berra in the system, but is that enough to get them through a rebuild?

Chicago Blackhawks:  If Ray Emery walks as a UFA, who backs up Crawford?

Edmonton Oilers:  Were after Schneider, so is their confidence in Devan Dubnyk waning?  And even if it is not, who backs up DD?

Nashville Predators:  Rinne is in place, but who backs him up?

San Jose Sharks:  Antti Niemi is #1, but is JP Anderson ready to step in and replace UFA Thomas Greiss as backup?

St. Louis Blues:  Too many goalies is a good problem to have, but with so many free agents, can they get value back for Jaroslav Halak?

Vancouver Canucks:  With Roberto Luongo back in the driver’s seat, is Eddie Lack a legitimate backup?


Ilya Bryzgalov – Bought out by the Flyers, could land with the Islanders, Oilers, Flames

Tim Thomas – Does he want to play?  The Islanders have the option to make him play for them or they can let him walk.  Could land with Islanders, Flyers

Evgeni Nabokov – Leaving the Isles to test free agency.  Could find work in Edmonton, Calgary, Philadelphia or back with the Islanders

Jose Theodore – Probably a backup option could go to any number of clubs as a depth goalie – Nashville, San Jose, Chicago, Columbus

Ray Emery – An affordable option for Philly, the Islanders, Edmonton or Calgary


Al Montoya, Nikolai Khabibulin, Mathieu Garon, Jason LaBarbera, Brian Boucher, Michael Leighton, Chris Mason, Dan Ellis and Thomas Greiss will be among the goalies looking for backup work around the league.