With training camps underway, there are still some pretense situations surrounding the NHL that have not been resolved. Accordingly, those teams may be planning to pick a second scorer if exempted in the pre-season like Montreal did with Samuel Montembeault previous season. With that in mind, let’s examine who might be looking for a goalkeeper and which teams with a scorer might be interested.
Arizona: The Coyotes have one of their two goalkeepers locked up for three years Karel Vejmelka but after that, there’s nothing but a question mark. Farmhands Jon Gillies and Ivan Prosvetov has some NHL experience but Gillies struggled last season with New Jersey and Prosvetov has failed to reach ,900 SV% the past two seasons in the minor league. Limited space is not an issue for them so they can look at any options available in terms of waivers or take a bad contract for extra compensation.
Chicago: Immediately, Alex Stalock as their backup keeper. He has missed most of the last two seasons battling myocarditis and struggled significantly in the youth league last year. It’s true that the Blackhawks are definitely not in win-now mode but in a perfect world they would Arvid Soderblom for an uninterrupted year with AHL Rockford. He’s currently third on the depth charts but if there’s a chance to bring in a cheap second rope and put Stalock in a position to be the summoner should injury arise, they might want to. take it. The abandonment cord could be an opportunity to add that.
Philadelphia: With Ivan Fedotov blocked from traveling to North America this season due to military engagement, the Flyers will have to switch to Plan B. Felix Sandstrom is currently their second choice but he has only made five NHL appearances in his career. They are looking to be more competitive this season so this could be the point to upgrade. Yes, Sandstrom would then need to be excused to be sent back to Lehigh Valley but that will be the case if Fedotov is able to compete so that’s a risk they can be comfortable with.
Of course, an injury or two in pre-season could also add to the list of suitors in the coming weeks.
Teams can lose a goalkeeper
For the purposes of this exercise, the focus will be on young goalkeepers who can be attractive or veterans with some recent NHL experience who can fill the void.
Malcolm Subban was brought back as a veteran to work with Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen in the AHL Rochester but he’s got 86 games with NHL experience under him and a deal that’s just $100k above the league’s minimum. He’s already a full-time backup going back to his time with Vegas, which will also enhance the likelihood that he’s likely to be claimed.
Dallas: Immediately, Anton Khudobin appeared again with Jake Oettinger and Scott Wedgewood become the goalkeeper duo for the Stars. Khudobin is currently in the final year of a $3.33 million AAV carrier deal. It wouldn’t be a shock if he removed the exemption but if Dallas wants to free up a little more money for Jason Robertsoncontract, they would call Arizona to see what it would cost them to fulfill the contract.
Pheonix Copley removed the waiver without any concern over the past few years but also had an expensive contract for a third chain option. Now, he’s on a much more palatable deal ($825K) and is having an impressive season in AHL Hershey. The 30-year-old player is a backup plan for the Capital in the 2018-19 period.
Nashville: This is one of the most interesting things to keep track of. In spite of Connor Ingram hold on to their spot in the knockouts for the Preds, they still come and take home Kevin Lankinen on a one-year contract, $1.5 million. That’s a lot to pay a third chain option so it could put Ingram in jeopardy. However, if they try to sneak Ingram, he will most likely be declared, especially with a sub-minimum AAV. Bringing in three goalkeepers is a possibility but generally not ideal so something may have to be offered here.
New York (R): Rangers went and brought in Louis Domingue with a two-year contract as their insurance policy but he can also make a claim with some other teams. He was fine in the playoffs for Pittsburgh and had 142 games against the NHL in parts of two seasons. Both years are one-way that will likely try to discourage other teams from claiming him but with an AAV of just $775K, he could garner some interest.
Seattle: With Martin Jones join Kraken as their backup, that will boost both Joey Daccord and Magnus Hellberg to the giving up wire. Not long ago, Daccord was seen as a possible NHL pick and at 26, there could still be a couple of comebacks after a strong season with AHL Charlotte. Hellberg, meanwhile, has dominated the KHL for the past few years, which prompted Detroit to give him a brief look at last season’s span. Other teams may also want to consider depending on how things go over the next few weeks.
Mikhail Berdin is the only goalkeeper on this list without any NHL experience but at 24, he’s also the youngest in this group. If a rebuilding team wants to look at a younger substitute to see if there’s something there, this is the type of goalkeeper they might want to aim for.
Of course, there will be other goalkeepers who will reach the standard of exemption in the coming weeks that could be of interest to teams depending on what goes on in pre-season. There won’t be a lot of abandonment between pipelines – which is rare – but these one or two players could change teams in the coming weeks.