Who's on the goalie market?
Tomas Vokoun has been one of the NHL\'s top goalies this season and is expected to be traded by the Feb. 28 deadline. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
Who's on the goalie market?
If you’re really hoping to have your question answered in this space – or in the pages of The Hockey News, or on THN Radio – might I suggest you put a little money on the board to motivate me to do so? Just messing with you. Here are a handful of your bribe-free inquiries:
Hello Adam. It is going to be interesting to watch what happens with the movement of goalies this season. I have a few questions: What goalies will be available between now and deadline time? I heard such names as Evgeni Nabokov, Tomas Vokoun, and J-S Giguere.
Are there any others who might be had like Martin Brodeur, Miikka Kiprusoff, or Ilya Bryzgalov? What teams are in the hunt for a goalie? I would assume the Flyers and Caps, but who else? And finally, what would have to be done to sign Nabokov? I heard that if a team signs him, he would have to pass through re-entry waivers and any team can pick him up. Is this true, and how likely is that to happen?
John Mason, Newark, Del.
1. Nabokov, Vokoun and Giguere could be had for the right price, but because we’ve undoubtedly seen the goalie market flooded with capable talent, that price has dropped considerably. There may be others if lottery-bound teams decide they’re completely out of the playoff race, but that will only add to the plethora of names available.
2. Brodeur and Kiprusoff probably can be included in that group, although their current employers are likely to keep them around; in Brodeur’s case, his $5.2 million cap hit, combined with his current play, make him less than ideal, while the Flames need all the talent they can hold on to.
3. I think both the Capitals and Flyers should be looking for another goalie, but both those teams have been relatively stubborn/confident in the players they have now. But who knows? A really rough stretch in the schedule may hurt them (or another team) heading into the Feb. 28 trade deadline, leaving them no choice but to acquire another netminder.
4. Yes, Nabokov would have to clear waivers when and if he signs a contract with an NHL team. The likelihood of it happening really depends on how much money and term Nabokov wants; if it’s a pro-rated one-year deal, he’ll tempt teams, but if it’s a multi-year pact at better-than-average money, I’d guess he would clear waivers and head to the team that signs him.
Adam, after reading THN’s 100 People of Power and Influence edition, I noticed there are no THN associates on the list. Is this just because of potential bias? Also, who creates the rankings?
Braeden Beller, Rainy River, Ont.
You’re right, we don’t put any of our writers on the list for the conflict of interest that it would symbolize. As for the creation of the list, our writers and editors collaborate to research it and draw it up.
Hey Adam! You recently answered a question stating Tampa Bay should go out and get Dwayne Roloson and that's exactly what they did. Do you have a crystal ball or is Steve Yzerman a faithful reader? If the latter, will you suggest he trade Martin St-Louis or Steven Stamkos to the Blues? Thank You.
Todd Brutcher, St. Louis
Hey Todd! Yes, I managed to look prescient on that question (which was answered in our magazine). But I’m no psychic. The fact is, Tampa’s goaltending was a problem that could be seen by anyone who watched their games this season; on top of that, it was clear Roloson would be offered around the league to land Isles GM Garth Snow more draft picks or prospects.
Put those two facts together and it made sense that Yzerman would explore a Roloson trade.
Adam, I was just wondering, for how poorly the New Jersey Devils are doing we're not hearing a lot of talk about Lou Lamoriello being fired, but shouldn't we be? He put huge amounts of pressure on his club by picking up Ilya Kovalchuk, who they didn't need at the time with a young Zach Parise being the future star left winger of the club.
Then, you're stuck with those two left wingers when they probably should have been addressing the center or defense position. Lou obviously still thought he had a winning team at this point so he re-signs Kovy and then goes and pressures his club more by only being able to start a 15-player roster at the beginning of the season. I understand he's one of the best builder GMs in the league, but don't you think it's time for Lou to hang up his hat or someone to hang it up for him? Thanks for your time and hope you had a great vacation.
Michael Bradburn, Whitby, Ont.
In my estimation, Lamoriello is up there with Detroit’s Ken Holland as the most successful GM in recent memory; as such, I think he gets a mulligan for this lost season.
I still don’t believe Lamoriello was the primary force behind the acquisition of Kovalchuk; Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek has a new building he needs to have filled as often as possible and Kovalchuk was really the only available star on the market.
That said, Lamoriello surely can be criticized for allowing the state of the Devils’ defense corps to fall into disrepair. What once was their primary strength is now their main weakness and the architect of the franchise can’t be absolved of blame for that.
Lamoriello is 68 years old and should be in line for retirement sometime soon, but something tells me he’ll try and stick around as long as possible. His passion for the game and his resume affords him that luxury.
Adam, in December and early January, some teams have played as many as five more games than several other teams. How does this make sense from a scheduling standpoint, and who does it benefit?
Rob Mucha, Southern California
There is little that makes sense about the NHL schedule, but it is difficult to envision a scenario where it is completely fair to all teams. Why? Because most teams play in multi-purpose arenas that can also host NBA teams, concerts and conventions, leaving the schedule-maker few options.
Who does that benefit? Not the players, who’ve never had to deal with a more compacted schedule. The owners, however, are a different story: they benefit by having as many booked dates in their building as possible.
Adam Proteau, co-author of the book The Top 60 Since 1967, is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Thursdays and his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays.
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