Since the NHL Free Agency window opened, there have been unfathomable deals being made. Players have been making moves to teams that one fan couldn’t even think of. But, what about those players that protect the net? There have been wild moves for goaltenders this free agency. Beware, it’s a doozy.
To start things off, the Arizona Coyotes traded Mike Smith to the Calgary Flames. In according to acquiring Smith, the Flames then traded number one goaltender Brian Elliott to the Philadelphia Flyers (2 yrs, $5.5 mil). The Flyers then traded their star goaltender Steve Mason to the Winnipeg Jets (2 yrs, $8.2 mil). That forced Ondrej Pavelec out and he found his way to the New York Rangers (1 yr, $1.3 mil). Finally, Antti Raanta made way for Pavelec by making a move the Coyotes.
Wow, that’s a lot. Accordingly, each goalie effectively replaced another. It’s almost like the circle of life has been formed just by five players.
Ryan Miller to Anaheim
Former Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller signed a two-year, $4.4 million dollar deal to play for the Anaheim Ducks.
The 36-year-old now has a chance to play closer to home for a Stanley Cup contending team. The past two seasons, Miller spent his time with the Canucks. Determining who will be the number one for the 2017/18 season will be tough, as the Ducks still have John Gibson on their roster.
Toronto Maple Leafs also re-signed former Columbus Blue Jackets backup Curtis McElhinney. The deal was done just before McElhinney was set to be on the market. The financial deal is a two-year contract worth $1.7 million.
Penguins Find Fleury’s Replacement
It looks as though the two-time Stanley Cup champions have found their replacement for Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury was the go-to guy to start in net during the 2017 NHL playoffs. After winning the Cup for the second year in a row, Fleury was sent packing to expansion team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
Since the departure, the Penguins still have Matt Murray on their roster who could be their potential starter for the upcoming season. However, they are welcoming in Antti Niemi. Niemi was bought out by the Dallas Stars. Niemi signed a one-year contract worth $700,000.
This wild game of Goalie Musical Chairs has been started, and seems it has yet to finish.