Cash Men: A quarter-season take a gander at the seven best pending UFA goalie alternatives



The Chicago Blackhawks’ goaltending team drives the gathering of goaltenders who are sit to hit the market the following summer, yet which other pending UFA netminders will be looked for after in the event that they hit the open market?Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford|Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI through Getty ImagesSo, there was a technique to Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman’s franticness all things considered.

On July 1, Bowman made a major sprinkle by marking ruling Vezina Trophy finalist Robin Lehner to a one-year, $5-million arrangement. Given Corey Crawford’s wellbeing concerns, Lehner was a conspicuous redesign after the calamity that was the Blackhawks reinforcement couple of Collin Delia and Cam Ward last season. In any case, going out and snatching the best accessible goalie available? Did Bowman know something all of us didn’t? Was Crawford’s time up as a NHLer?

Turns out not really. Crawford has been relentless in his 11 appearances this season, turning in a .914 spare rate, .935 SP at 5-on-5 and a strong 5.52 objectives spared better than expected at five-a-side. Yet, that hasn’t invalidated the benefit of bringing Lehner on board. Include his extraordinary exhibition hitherto – he gloats .934 SP at all qualities and .940 SP and 7.47 GSAA at 5-on-5 – and all of a sudden the Blackhawks have one of, if not the best, goaltending couples in the class at the present time.

The team presents one issue, be that as it may: the two goaltenders are set to become UFAs at season’s end. That Lehner isn’t secured in a long haul bargain is especially concerning, as well, given he’s currently in the second of what have been consecutive champion seasons. On the off chance that the Blackhawks hold the 28- year-old manager, however, I’m not catching it’s meaning for the 34- year-old Crawford? It’s far-fetched he’ll end up instructing anyplace close the $6 million top hit he carries on his present arrangement, yet would he take a sufficient compensation slice to have the option to stay in the Windy City? Or on the other hand, with his playing time divided because of Lehner’s quality, will Crawford search somewhere else for circumstances?

Notwithstanding whether one or both remain in Chicago, the way things are, there are two of the top pending UFA goaltenders, sitting on a gathering that has a couple enormous names. At the quarter-season mark, how about we take a gander at five other people who could make a sprinkle via arriving in another wrinkle when July 1 moves around:

Braden Holtby, 30 (Washington – $5 million AAV)If you see his season record – 11- 2-3 in 17 games heading into the end of the week – Holtby’s having a Vezina Trophy-bore season. In any case, when you burrow somewhat more profound, his details state the direct inverse. Holtby’s .913 SP at 5-on-5 was 26th among goalies with at any rate 10 starts and his less 1.48 GSAA positioned 27th. Holtby’s no more peculiar to powerless stretches, however one would anticipate better numbers. In any case, he’s ostensibly going to be the top goaltender available heading into the mid year, and with Ilya Samsonov tingling for circumstance, Holtby’s next agreement could take him somewhere else.

Jakob Markstrom, 30 (Vancouver – $4 million AAV)The Canucks sit third in the Pacific Division, yet that has been regardless of Markstrom’s ongoing play. Prior to recording a triumph against Nashville Thursday, Markstrom was on an individual six-game slide following a four-win run toward the beginning of October. Entering the end of the week, his .915 SP at 5-on-5 was useful for 22nd, yet he was a top 10 goalie before things started going south. His understudy, new kid on the block Thatcher Demko, has a .924 SP at five-a-side with a 5-2-1 record. In spite of his ongoing battles, Markstrom was one of Vancouver’s most important players last season and indicated he can deal with a full-season load. Demko ought to be Vancouver’s starter next season, so Markstrom may be a significant alternative for groups searching for a veteran netminder who can deal with in the scope of 50 begins.

Thomas Greiss, 34 (NY Islanders – $3.75 million AAV)Greiss made his vocation as a dependable reinforcement goaltender, yet his 9-1-0 record heading into the end of the week is among the alliance chiefs. Moreover, Greiss’ .945 SP at 5-on-5 entering the end of the week positioned first among netminders with at any rate 10 starts and his 7.67 GSAA sat second behind the Winnipeg Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck. Greiss has permitted just 15 objectives at full quality, and with an eight-game win streak, he’s been instrumental to the Islanders’ prosperity. Indeed, he has defeated Semyon Varlamov regardless of entering the season as the anticipated reinforcement. Greiss is probably not going to verify a beginning job somewhere else because of his age, yet he’ll be among the most looked for after choices if the Islanders don’t – or can’t – keep him around.

Brian Elliott, 35 (Philadelphia –  $2 million AAV)When Carter Hart began the season on an inappropriate side of class normal, Elliott dominated, and he hasn’t baffled. He’s 5-2-0 while filling in for his creasemate and has kept the Flyers in the chase in the Eastern Conference regardless of whether his details aren’t lovely. Entering the end of the week, his .914 SP at 5-on-5 was 25th among goaltenders with 10 starts and his short 0.82 GSAA saw him in 24th spot. He’s doing what he needs to do as a reinforcement, however: win. As a more established goalie with long damage history, Elliott won’t gain much on his next agreement. You need to figure the Flyers will need to keep him around for one more year to help tutor Hart.

Anton Khudobin, 34 (Dallas – $2.5 million AAV)Speaking of dependable reinforcement goaltenders, Khudobin knows some things about keeping his group in games. Khudobin’s 5-3-1 record entering the end of the week may appear to be normal, yet he has won five of his previous six beginnings and the solitary misfortune came in extra time. He additionally permitted just a solitary objective against in four of those triumphs. Entering activity Saturday, Khudobin sat third with a .943 SP at 5-on-5 and his GSSAA of 4.56 is second among goaltenders with less than 10 games played. Like the other reinforcement choices, Khudobin likely won’t get a sizeable raise. That may make it likely that he remains in Texas as the Stars endeavor to pursue a Stanley Cup.

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Labels: free organization, chicago blackhawks, nhlConnect: About the AuthorSteven EllisSteven Ellis is a Digital Content Producer for The Hockey News. He invests his free energy tuning in to music you wouldn’t care for and observes repulsively long engine races.

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