Kavan’s Crease: Eastern Conference Free Agency Re-Cap

I’ve been away on vacation the last week so I didn’t have much time to get any writing in. It turns out that women really don’t like when you’re watching the draft and making notes in your hotel room in Whistler. Who knew?

Anyways, in the first part of this 2-part article, I’ll be re-capping the moves (or lack thereof) by the teams in the Eastern Conference. I’ll let you know notable additions, subtractions, who’s still available and which teams were winners, losers or made lateral movements.

Boston Bruins, Lateral:

Notable ins: Jarome Iginla, Louis Eriksson, Joe Morrow
Notable outs: Tyler Seguin, Andrew Ference, Rich Peverley, Nathan Horton, Anton Khudobin
In Limbo: Jaromir Jagr, Wade Redden, Kaspars Daugavins

tyler

 

 

The Bruins made headlines just days before the draft by sending 2010 2nd overall draft pick Tyler Seguin, along with Rich Peverley and Ryan Button, to Dallas in return for Louis Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow and Matt Fraser.

This deal didn’t exactly improve the Bruins’ hockey club, but ridding themselves of the distraction that was Tyler Seguin’s unprofessionalism and adding Louis Eriksson is definitely not a loss. There is little doubt that Seguin will be a great hockey player when he gets older, but apparently the Bruins just don’t have the patience to wait for him. Eriksson will excel on a line with Bergeron and Lucic.

Jaromir Jagr and Wade Redden will not have their services retained and Kaspars Daugavins may have to wait for a contract until the team signs Tuukka Rask.

 

Buffalo Sabres, Losers:

In: Jamie Mcbain, Henrik Tallinder
Out: Andrej Sekera, Nathan Gerbe
Limbo: N/A

There was a lot of talk about the Sabres moving some key pieces in order to “regroup” and add assets to make another run. However, after dealing Derek Roy to Dallas before the season and Jason Pominville to Minnesota at the deadline, GM Darcy Regier has still yet to make a decision on F Tomas Vanek and G Ryan Miller. If the Sabres are to improve to a playoff team again, it is almost necessary to move Vanek and Miller before the season because they will not be worth much the longer Regier waits. Jamie McBain is a good fit with Tyler Myers, but the forward depth on this team is abysmal and is in need of a serious upgrade.

Carolina Hurricanes, Lateral:

In: Anton Khudobin, Mike Komisarek, Elias Lindholm, Andrej Sekera.
Out: Jamie McBain, Dan Ellis.
Limbo: N/A

The Canes made some minor adjustments, but stayed the course for the mostpart. The McBain for Sekera trade makes sense, as it gives Carolina some defensive leadership and veteran presence on their back end.

The only small issue that may come up is the replacing of Dan Ellis with Anton Khudobin. Cam Ward has had injury trouble in the recent past and Ellis was solid in his absence; Khudobin, however, has only played a mere 21 NHL games and is a big question mark to take the starting role should Ward go down again.

Otherwise, the future looks bright in Carolina, and it will be fun to watch this young team develop.

Columbus Blue Jackets, Winners:

In: Nathan Horton
Out: N/A
Limbo: Vinny Prospal, Michael Leighton, Adrian Aucoin

bobrovsky-201213Bobrovsky!! Despite signing Nathan Horton to a 7-year, $37.1 million deal, the biggest accomplishment for GM Jarmo Kekalainen was signing G Sergei Bobrovsky. The kid is still young at only 24 years of age and signing him short-term is genius. Truthfully, yes, Bob had a Vezina-worthy season. Goaltenders, however, take much longer to mature than skaters do and, therefore, could mean that Bob is just a flash in the pan who could drop off the face of the Earth next season (like Vesa Toskala, who had 1 good season, was acquired for a first- and second-round pick and then disappeared). Only signing him to a 2-year deal also means he will be a restricted free agent at the end of the contract as opposed to an unrestricted free agent and give Columbus sole negotiating rights.

After dealing with Bobrovsky, the Jackets then went on to sign Nathan Horton long-term, creating a strong core and a seriously dangerous top line of Horton, Brandon Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik (assuming Gaborik’s glass shoulder/groin/knee all hold up).

Detroit Red Wings, Winners:

In: Stephen Weiss, Daniel Alfredsson
Out: Valteri Filppula, Carlo Colaiacovo
Limbo: Damien Brunner, Daniel Cleary, Ian White

daniel-alfredsson-7

 

Any team that adds Daniel Alfredsson to there roster cannot be considered a loser of free agency. After realizing the former Ottawa Senators captain and longest serving player was not going to re-sign, Ken Holland and the Red Wings pounced, inking Alfie to a one-year, $5.5 million contract. There is no question to what Alfredsson brings to the table. The Wings are getting one of the league’s longest-tenured captains, a capable point-producer, and a huge boost in leadership to help Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg bring along the youngins.

As well as Alfredsson, Detroit signed former Florida Panthers C Stephen Weiss to a 5 year, $24.5 million contract. Weiss will bring a consistent scoring touch, as he has scored 20 or more goals 4 times in the last 7 seasons.

 

 

Florida Panthers, Losers:

In: Alexsander Barkov
Out: Stephen Weiss, George Parros, Jack Skille
Limbo: Filip Kuba, Peter Mueller, Jose Theodore

Being in possession of the second-overall pick in, arguably, one of the deepest drafts in NHL history, many expected the Panthers to select either C Nathan MacKinnon, D Seth Jones or LW Jonathan Drouin. After Colorado picked MacKinnon first overall, everyone in the Prudential Center was left scratching their head as GM Dale Tallon announced the team was selecting Alexsander Barkov instead of Jones or Drouin; especially with a glaring need on defense and rival Tampa Bay sitting patiently in the third overall spot.

Despite passing on Drouin and Jones, Barkov makes a nice addition up front with the likes of Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau and future 25-goal scorer Nick Bjugstad in the Panthers’ current ranks.

Forgetting the draft for a minute, Florida needs to acquire a goaltender, and quickly. They were dead silent on July 5th with capable goalies like Ray Emery, Ilya Bryzgalov, Mike Smith and, apparently, Cory Schneider available. Could they not have made a better deal for Schneider than New Jersey did? Or were they just unwilling to give up the no. 2 pick? Regardless. this issue needs to be addressed.

Montreal Canadiens, Lateral:

In: Daniel Briere, George Parros
Out: Michael Ryder, Yannick Weber, Tomas Kaberle, Colby Armstrong, Jeff Halpern
Limbo: N/A

Les Habitants have not gotten worse since the entry draft, but also have not gotten much better. After letting Michael Ryder walk, GM Marc Bergevin replaced him with an older, less productive in recent years Danny Briere. Briere is a massive playoff producer, but if he can’t make it there healthily, he absolutely will not be worth the $4 million he will be getting paid (from the Canadiens, anyways). This is a calculated risk, however; if Briere doesn’t work out, he’s only signed on for 2 seasons at a tolerable salary, but f he stays healthy and puts up playoff numbers like he has in the past, he will be one of the steals of free agency.

Another addition made by the Habs was George Parros and, quite frankly, if someone can explain this to me, I would love to hear it. After going hard after Brandon Prust last year and paying him $2.5 million(!!!!), Bergevin brought in another enforcer to waste a roster spot that could be used for an up-and-coming prospect like Gabriel Dumont, Charles Hudon, Tim Bozon or Michael Bournival to gain some experience.

On the whole, Montreal’s biggest move may have been not making too many moves. The team made big strides last season and won’t need too much tweaking to continue progressing.

New Jersey Devils, Winners:

In: Ryane Clowe, Michael Ryder, Cory Schneider
Out: David Clarkson, Johan Hedberg.
Limbo: Cam Janssen, Alexei Ponikarovaky, Marek Zidlicky

David+Clarkson+Calgary+Flames+v+New+Jersey+4gt5ewojFaJlThis offseason, there was a lot of talk around the Devils. Between David Clarkson and Martin Brodeur, there were a lot of question marks hanging over the organization.

That all changed, starting June 30th at the draft where, out of nowhere, Joisey acquired Cory Schneider straight up from the Vancouver Canucks for the 9th overall pick (Bo Horvat). Clarkson would go on to sign in Toronto (more on that later)

With Clarkson and Janssen not re-signing, Uncle Lou had to replace some of the sandpaper up front so he added Ryan Clowe to provide the dirty work as well as put in a few ugly goals here and there. Was he worth $4.85 mil a year? That remains to be seen at this point, but one can only assume that that is a slight overpayment, considering Vinny Lecavalier signed for $4.5 mil per and Stephen Weiss got $4.9 mil.

New York Islanders, Winners:

In: Cal Clutterbuck, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Peter Regin
Out: Nino Niederreiter, Rick DiPietro, Brad Boyes, Mark Streit
Limbo: N/A

Islanders GM Garth Snow should receive a vote for GM of the year next year. After reading the ins and outs, it may be difficult to understand why, but this is the reasoning:

Nino Niederreiter has a promising NHL career ahead of him and will be a star in the league; it just wasn’t happening in Long Island. A lack of ice-time and opportunity left a bad taste in Nino’s mouth and it was beginning to be a little too dramatic for Snow, so Nino was sent to the Minnesota Wild for Cal Clutterbuck and a 3rd round pick in 2014. Clutterbuck adds some needed toughness to the Islanders lineup and can put a few pucks in the net as well. He is a heart and soul player who leaves it all on the ice and should make the players around him better.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard has to be the most underrated signing this offseason so far. $2 mil for a guy who can put the puck right in John Tavares’ wheelhouse is a steal. He comes with almost 600 games of experience and can pass like nobody’s business. expect Tavares to score 10-15 more goals with Bouchard on his wing.

The rest of Garth Snow’s winning streak comes from addition by subtraction. Having Rick DiPietro off the roster and out of the organization has to be a huge sigh of relief for Snow and Isles’ owner Charles Wang. Evgeni Nabokov is no longer the goalie he used to be, but he is paid accordingly and has virtually no expectations.

Losing Mark Streit hurts, but there is little you can do with pending UFAs; you can either throw way too much money at them to stick around (cough Mike Smith cough) or you can do what Garth Snow did and trade his rights for a pick that may or may not amount to an NHL player. In this case, the latter is probably the better since Streit got more from Philly than Snow was willing to pay.

New York Rangers, Lateral:

In: Benoit Pouliot, Dominic Moore, Alain Vigneault
Out: Ryane Clowe
Limbo: Matt Gilroy, Roman Hamrlik

The Rangers have been one of the quieter teams in the NHL this offseason, after making their blockbuster moves during the season. Having the majority of their young core in place and bringing in Rick Nash during the season, Glen Sather essentially stood pat, letting Ryane Clowe sign across the river in New Jersey for too much money and signing depth forwards Dominc Moore and Benoit Pouliot.

The biggest change for the Rangers has come from behind the bench. With all the pieces in place to be a cup contender, John Tortorella just wasn’t getting through to his team anymore. So, he was kicked to the curb and Alain Vigneault was brought in. Vigneault knows how to coach young players and veterans alike and has playoff experience. His calm demeanour and ability to work with all types of players should provide the Rangers what they need to take the next step.

Bobby Ryan

 

 

Ottawa Senators, Winners:

In: Bobby Ryan, Clarke MacArthur
Out: Daniel Alfredsson, Jakob Silfverberg, Peter Regin
Limbo: Guillaume Latendresse

Despite losing their captain and longest-tenured player to the Red Wings, Bryan Murray and the Senators wasted no time filling his spot, sending prospects Jakob Silfverberg and Stefan Noesen to Anaheim along with a 2014 first round pick for Bobby Ryan. Ryan is a former 30-goal scorer and putting him with Jason Spezza and a healthy Milan Michalek will bring an immediate threat to Ottawa’s top line and a boost to the NHL’s 20th ranked powerplay in 2013.

 

 

 

Philadelphia Flyers, Winners:

In: Vincent Lecavalier, Mark Streit, Ray Emery
Out: Danny Briere, Ilya Bryzgalov, Ruslan Fedotenko, Mike Knuble
Limbo: Simon Gagne, Andreas Lilja

Vincent LecavalierThe Flyers have a reputation of making splashes in the offseason, and GM Paul Holmgren did not disappoint. After making headlines in early June by buying out F Danny Briere and G Ilya Bryzgalov, Holmgren signed arguably the most sought-after free agent on this year’s market: Vincent Lecavalier. After being bought out by the Lightning for having an expensive contract, Lecavalier didn’t waste much time signing a new, overpaid long-term contract with the Flyers. He figures to play on the first or second line and should bring some extra offense.

Being famous for having a severely weak back-end, Holmgren addressed the need with what was available. Being $1 million over the salary cap doesn’t help, but the Flyers were able to acquire the rights to and sign former Islanders captain Mark Streit, as well as sign Stanley Cup Champion Ray Emery to a low-risk 1 year deal. Emery may not be the best goalie in the league, but he should bring a little more consistency and professionalism to the Flyers crease and serve as an apt replacement for Bryzgalov. Despite not playing a minute in the playoffs, it is not a stretch to say that the Blackhawks would not even have been there were it not for Emery.

Pittsburgh Penguins, Losers:

In: Rob Scuderi
Out: Tyler Kennedy, Jarome Iginla, Matt Cooke, Brendan Morrow
Limbo: Douglas Murray, Mark Eaton

(Photo: Dan4th. flickr)
(Photo: Dan4th. flickr)

 

 

After failing miserably in the conference finals to the Bruins, the Penguins had soul searching to do this offseason. After re-signing Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang to extensions, the Pens are out of money and still have roster spots to fill. Re-acquiring Rob Scuderi is a good start to fixing the blueline, but it would have been beneficial for GM Ray Shero to do something about his goaltending situation, since it seems as though Marc-Andre Fleury has forgotten what his job was in the NHL.

Alas, the Penguins have made few moves so far and unless they sort out their salary cap conundrum, next season could be very interesting for Crosby and Co.

 

 

 

Tampa Bay Lightning, Winners:

In: Jonathan Drouin, Valteri Filppula
Out: Vincent Lecavalier, Benoit Pouliot
Limbo: N/A

Halifax Mooseheads v Shawinigan CataractesSteve Yzerman made news this offseason by unexpectedly buying out franchise forward Vincent Lecavalier and his 11-year, $85 million contract. The move was a little easier for Lightning brass to swallow knowing that within two weeks, they would be adding one of Nathan Mackinnon, Seth Jones, Jonathan Drouin or Alexsander Barkov. With MacKinnon going first and Barkov surprisingly going second, Drouin practically fell into Yzerman’s lap. If Drouin makes the big club next season, it won’t be long before Lightning fans are saying, “Vinny who?”

The Bolts also dipped into the free agent market by inking for Red Wing Valteri Filpulla to a 5-year deal. Besides Clowe in Jersey and Filppula’s replacement in Detroit, Weiss, this has to be one of the most overrated deals to be handed out this year. $5 million per season for a guy who has scores more than 20 goals and 50 points ONE TIME, in the same season for that matter, is ridiculous. The fact that he even got those goals and points could have a lot to do with playing with Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Here’s hoping he can transition from playing with 2 Europeans to 2 Canadian boys.

Toronto Maple Leafs, Winners:

In: Jonathan Bernier, Dave Bolland, David Clarkson
Out: Mikhail Grabovski, Clarke MacArthur, Mike Komisarek, Mike Kostka, Tim Connolly, Ryan O’Byrne, Matt Frattin, Ben Scrivens
Limbo: N/A

mikhail grabovskiThere are a lot of names on the “out” list in Toronto that must be bringing smiles to the faces of Leaf fans everywhere. Ridding the team of Komisarek, Connolly, O’Byrne and even Grabovski opens up some cap space and makes room for some youngsters like Morgan Rielly and Carter Ashton to step up.

Before the draft, Dave Nonis did what Brian Burke couldn’t and took care of the goaltending position. Despite placing his utmost confidence in James Reimer, the Leafs GM sent Matt Frattin and Ben Scriven to Los Angeles for long-time backup Jonathan Bernier. Bernier has some of the best numbers in the league the last 2 or 3 years (2.36 GAA, .916 SV%), despite being stuck behind incumbent starter Jon Quick. The battle for playing time will be fierce as James Reimer has stated publicly that he has no intention of giving up the net.

David Clarkson, one of the biggest names on the free agent market, is exactly the type of player Toronto needs, and should bring a huge character boost to the Leafs locker room. Raised in Toronto, Clarkson is the hard-nosed, gritty type of power forward the Buds have been looking for since Tie Domi left and, along with the addition of Dave Bolland, should make it awfully hard for teams to play against them.

Washington Capitals, Losers:

In: N/A
Out: Mike Ribeiro, Jeff Schultz, Matt Hendricks
Limbo: Tom Poti, Wojtek Wolski

Hello, George Mcphee? Oh! You guys ARE still a team! Where were the capitals this offseason? Apparently holding the door so all their free agents could walk. After losing 2 top 6 d-men and 2 top 6 forwards, you would think Washington had some backup plans when their backup plans didn’t work. Unless the Caps make some depth moves before the season starts, I wouldn’t expect them to be back in the playoffs come spring 2014.

So, that concludes my first free agency/offseason analysis! Let me know what you think and check back tomorrow for the Western Conference! Thanks for reading!

The Curious Case of David Desharnais

Hello again, and thanks for coming back! Today we’re going to examine the case of Montreal Canadiens centre David Desharnais.

foto-david-desharnais-27

Desharnais has been a point producer since junior, despite being one of the smallest players in every league he has played in; his numbers are as follows:

GP, G-A-P

QMJHL: 262 GP, 126-248-374

ECHL:68 GP, 29-77-106

AHL:183 GP, 62-121-183

NHL:178 GP, 34-77-111

Obviously, Desharnais has been a point-per-game or more player his entire career, save for the NHL, where his numbers are still not bad at all. Last season, however, saw Desharnais slip in point production and seemingly have no set linemates all year long, after spending nearly the entirety of 2011-2012 paired with Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole. This would ultimately lead to Cole being shipped off to Dallas for former Hab Michael Ryder. After having such great chemistry with Cole and Pacioretty, all 3 players had difficulty finding the back of the net playing with each other and other players.

With Cole being traded and Pacioretty locked up as the team’s future, Habs fans can’t help but wonder if Desharnais is somewhat expendable, with the depth the team has at centre and newly bought out Vincent Lecavalier being on the open market.

david-desharnaisVinny is a player that Habs GM Marc Bergevin has got to be targeting, as he fits the type of player Montreal has needed for years: a big, powerful top-line centreman. Vinny can play in all situations and proved this past season that he can still put up points, scoring 10 goals and 32 points in 39 games for an average of 0.82 points per game. That translates into 21 goals and 67 points over the course of an 82 game season.

If the Habs can successfully talk Lecavalier into playing in his home city for a reasonable price, look for Desharnais to be on the way out. With, arguably, one of the best two-way forwards in the game in Tomas Plekanec still putting up points and killing penalties effectively, as well as up-and-comer Lars Eller and natural centreman Alex Galchenyuk each looking for more ice-time and responsibility, the centre position gets a little crowded with the addition of Lecavalier.

1364157238_david-desharnaisTeams that could be interested in Desharnais would be teams who have some size and grit but are looking to add a little speed and scoring. First team that comes to my mind is the Nashville Predators. In return, Montreal would probably ask for a young defender to eventually replace Andrei Markov, who almost certainly won’t return when his contract expires at the end of next season. Having Shea Weber, Kevin Klein, Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis tied up though next season and beyond (except for Ellis, who will be an RFA next year) and Hal Gill having another year on his contract, RFA defenceman Jonathon Blum seems to be the odd man out. Having seen his ice-time dwindle and having a less-than-stellar relationship with coach Barry Trotz, it has been made known publicly that Blum will not be tendered a qualifying offer and will be shopped. Since it is not guaranteed that he will sign with the Canadiens, the Preds would have to throw in a conditional pick. This is how I could see things going:

MTL gets:Jonathon Blum
Conditional 2nd round pick

NSH gets:David Desharnais

This trade helps Nashville with their scoring woes, makes them a little quicker and frees up a spot on their crowded blueline. Montreal, meanwhile, gets a player who can make an immediate difference on the power play, clear up a spot in case of a Lecavalier signing and provide peace of mind knowing that Markov’s replacement is already here.

So what do you guys think? Will Desharnais be moved or will he stick around with the Habs?

Behind Bars: Summer of the Goaltender

March’s Note: Kavan Young is a new contributor to the blog. Stationed out of Vancouver, British Columbia and a die hard Habs fan, Kavan will give us his fresh take on all things hockey! Welcome bud!

Welcome, and thank you for checking out my post! This is my first attempt at starting a blog and can’t wait to see what kind of reaction I will get. I have an extreme passion for hockey; perhaps an obsession. Regardless, I love this game and all the discussions and debates that come with it. So without further ado, let’s get started! Growing up playing goal, I thought, “What better way to start a blog than to talk about my favourite position.”

Last offseason in the NHL saw little action in regards to goaltender movement, with only Al Montoya, Sergei Bobrovsky, Anders Lindback, Jonas Gustavsson and Chris Mason re-painting their masks.

Teams were looking more for top line forwards and top 6 defensemen, with players like Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Rick Nash, Jordan Staal, James van Riemsdyk and Luke Schenn bringing in the highest demand.

This season, however, is a much different monster; there are a number of goalies who will be shipped out, bought out and paid handsomely, as many teams, such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, have been exposed at the position.

This article will take a look at available goaltenders and their potential destinations.

Roberto Luongo:

Roberto-Luongo-1024x777Gotta start with Bobby Lu. Living in Vancouver, I hear a lot about this guy, and for good reason. The man is a true professional, an elite goaltender and still has lots left in the tank. He has dealt with rumors and potential trades for nearly 3 years now and GM Mike Gillis and the Canucks owe it to him to have him moved by the time next season starts. Whether it be via buyout or trade, look for Luongo to end up somewhere southern. He resides in South Florida so the Panthers seem to be a likely destination, but don’t rule out Tampa Bay either. Anders Lindback has the potential to be a stellar number one goaltender, but dropped the ball last season and could really benefit from a proven veteran and leader like Luongo.

Ryan Miller

8399972885_db7bf03c76What oh what do we do with Ryan Miller? The current Sabres starter has been in the Buffalo system since being drafted in 1999 and has suck with them through thick and thin. Nowadays, however, the Sabres seem to be unable to decide whether to rebuild or try to add pieces for another push. I think it makes sense for GM Darcy Regier to shop Miller actively.

At only 32 years of age, Miller is still in his prime, but doesn’t have a lot of time left, so a cup contender with plenty of firepower makes sense as a destination for Miller.

With the Philadelphia Flyers recent buyout of the sometimes eccentric Ilya Bryzgalov, its not a stretch to visualize miller in orange and black next season. Knowing that Philly is the NHL’s graveyard for goalies would normally be a deterrent, but with only a year left on his contract, it is a low-risk, high-reward deal for all parties involved. Philly gets a proven starter with experience on his resume, Miller can re-establish himself in a new city while giving the Flyers a chance to win and Buffalo gets assets and/or picks to help build the future of the team.

Ilya Bryzgalov:

Ilya Bryzgalov. (Photo: Jai Agnish. Flickr)
Ilya Bryzgalov. (Photo: Jai Agnish. Flickr)

Speaking of the Flyers, how good of a move was it to buyout possibly the biggest headache in the NHL. Besides Roberto Luongo, I can’t see any other team with as much drama surrounding them as Philadelphia had with Bryz, besides Phoenix, but that’s a whole other story.

Realizing that his client is somewhat of a headcase, Ilya’s agent Ritch Winter has gone public stating that Philadelphia’s goaltending system is awful and that their goalie coach has no authority. Whether these words are fact or an opinion is somewhat irrelevant, as this seems like a marketing ploy to let interested teams know that Bryzgalov can still stop a puck or two and that it’s actually the team’s fault that Bryz sucked it up for 2 years. Right.

Either way, after names like Luongo and Miller are dealt with, teams who missed out may take a chance on the former Vezina finalist since there won’t be much left afterwards.

Edmonton is a team that Bryzgalov has expressed interest in playing for, but i can’t see that interest being mutual. Devan Dubnyk seems to be the future between the pipes in oil country, so they may look closer at a proven backup such as Ray Emery or Dan Ellis to help mentor him and shape him into a guy who can steal a few games.

Sitting on the cusp of being a playoff team, the Winnipeg Jets may want to give Ritch Winter a call to inquire about his client’s services. Ondrej Pavelec is supposed to be the clear-cut number 1 in Winnipeg, but his career numbers are mediocre at best (2.98 GAA, .907 SV%). If GM Kevin Chevaldayoff can talk Bryzgalov into dealing with Winnipeg’s weather, he could be exactly what the team needs to get Pavelec going. Bringing in Bryz on a one-year deal as a 1B shows Pavelec that the organization is less than pleased with his performances and creates a healthy competition for the starting job.

Marc-Andre Fleury:

3621604412_57016e5b18The Flower is an interesting name to have on this list, as he has backstopped Pittsburgh to the playoffs in each of his 7 full seasons with the team, posting career numbers of 249-151-2-39, 2.66 GAA and 0.910 over 467 games.

It is his efforts in the postseason that have left Penguins brass scratching their heads. After winning it all in 2009-2009, Fleury has choked in the postseason to the point of being pulled and benched.

The question mark is whether Fleury is a legitimate elite goaltender or if he can’t handle the pressure come playoffs. This, surely, has made GM Ray Shero consider the option of moving his long-time starting goaltender who has 2 years left at $5 million per season on his current contract.

One team who may shoot Mr. Shero a text message is the St. Louis Blues. With Jaroslav Halak apparently displeased with his playing time, he could use a change of scenery to get back on track. With a record of 109-67-21(1.23 winning percentage compared to Fleury’s 1.31), GAA of 2.43 and SV% of .918 during the regular season, his numbers are not all that different when put up against Fleury’s.

It’s the playoffs that tip the scales in Halak’s favor. Fleury’s playoff numbers are average at best (2.73 GAA, .903 SV%). Halak’s numbers, meanwhile, are definitely not Conn Smythe-worthy; they are, however, substantially better than Fleury’s at 2.48 GAA and .923 SV% over his career.

Both goaltenders are in need of a change and could excel on opposite teams. Halak plays well and can carry his team (as he put on display during Montreal’s magical 2010 run) should defence be lacking (see: Pittsburgh Penguins) and Fleury could benefit from a team with any type of defensive structure (see: St. Louis Blues).

Although I believe Halak to be the better goalie, Fleury’s cup ring and All-Star nomination may increase his market value; therefore, St. Louis may have to toss in a defensive prospect or draft pick. Let’s try this:

PIT gets:Jaroslav Halak, Kris Russell or Ian Cole

STL gets:Marc-Andre Fleury, 3rd round pick

This deal gives both goalies a fresh start while benefiting both teams with Russell/Cole and the Pens 3rd rounder being swapped.

Other goalies who may be on the move:

Jonas Hiller – With the emergence of Victor Fasth and one of John Gibson or Igor Bobkov making the jump to the show, the crease in Anaheim seems to be a little crowded nowadays. Phoenix needs a starting goalie and has the young defensive help that Anaheim needs. Oliver Ekman-Larsson may be untouchable, but the Coyotes have secretly been fielding questions about Keith Yandle for some time now and he may be a great fit in SoCal.

Mike Smith – With the confusion surrounding the Coyotes’ ownership, expect Smith to test the market and take his talents elsewhere come July 5th.

James Reimer – Some may be surprised to see this name up here and, I admit, it is a bit of a longshot, but with the recent acquisition of Jonathan Bernier and many quality backup tenders available, Reimer may finally grow tired of the lack of confidence the Leafs have put in him and it may be best for both teams to split. I don’t foresee this happening in the offseason, but if Bernier has a strong start to the season, don’t be surprised to see Reimer’s name come up in trade rumors.