Several Players looking for Work
Look around the NHL and you’ll find some pretty decent names of some goaltenders that remain unsigned. The only problem is there are very few, if any, jobs available. Guys like Marty Turco, Patrik Lalime, and Evgeni Nabokov have had nice careers but can they still play?
Other guys such as Ty Conklin and Ray Emery could potentially stabilize a goaltending tandem but again there are very few options out there. Throw in Pascal Leclaire and we are left with a crowded bunch. Laclaire has seen limited duty in recent years due to injury and saw only 18 games last season in Ottawa before undergoing hip surgery.
Turco’s best days are behind him after appearing in 26 games last season for Chicago. At this stage of his career he is clearly a backup as he lost out to Corey Crawford a year ago. Chicago will enter camp with Alexander Salak as the number two behind Crawford.
It’s been two years since Patrik Lalime last won an NHL game. Lalime has been on a steady decline since the lockout and to be honest I’m impressed he’s lasted as long as he has. He deserves credit for finding a way to stay in the NHL. He’s spent the last few years behind Ryan Miller in Buffalo.
For now the Sabres plan on Jhonas Enroth being the backup to Miller but he is less than pleased with the lowball offer the club has made. Sources confirm Buffalo has offered Enroth a one-way contract at $525,000 or a two-way worth $660/62,500. Seems like a pretty low offer for a guy who carried the Sabres when Miller went down with injury late in the year. Enroth finished the season with an impressive 9-2-2 record with a .907 save%. I’m led to believe he’d accept a one way deal in the $600-$650 range. You can make the case he deserves a bump in pay but Buffalo has just over $300,000 of cap space. Many believe the Sabres will eventually buyout Ales Kotalik before the start of the season. He’s due $3 mill this coming season.
Ty Conklin has been talking with Detroit and it’s clear he’d love to return to Hockeytown. What’s unclear is whether or not the recent two-year deal the club gave to Joey MacDonald will prevent Conklin from signing with the Red Wings.
Ray Emery enjoyed a strong late season run in Anaheim and was a nice story down the stretch. He finished with a 7-2 record in ten appearances. He’s only 28 years old but still carries an iffy reputation and so far teams appear to be reluctant to pay him the money he’s looking for, not to mention bring him into their dressing room.
Evgeni Nabokov refused to report to the Islanders last season and therefore denied himself a chance to re-establish as a credible NHL goaltender.
Some of these guys will surface before training camp but it’s safe to assume a few of these guys will remain unemployed come September.
Former NHL goalie Manny Legace is looking to land a 2-way deal in an effort to scratch his way back into the NHL.
Wellwood Still Waiting…
NHL veteran Kyle Wellwood appeared in 35 games with the San Jose Sharks last season after defecting from the KHL in January. I thought he fit in well with the Sharks contributing 5 goals and 8 assists. Word is Wellwood hasn’t received a single call from an NHL team. He has reached out to a few clubs who have told him they will be in touch.
Logjam in Philly….
The Philadelphia Flyers recently signed goaltender Jason Bacashihua to provide some organizational depth. The only problem is they have plenty of it with Michael Leighton and his $1.6 Million contract still hovering over GM Paul Holmgren’s head. The Flyers would love to move Leighton but for now that appears to be much easier said than done.
Janssen Still Available….
If there’s a team looking for a great teammate who will fight anybody….then Cam Janssen is your guy. There were some reports of Vancouver signing the enforcer but as of the weekend the Canucks had had zero talks with Janssen.
Congrats to former University of Wisconsin product and longtime pro Alex Brooks who has been hired by the Chicago Blackhawks as a pro scout. Brooks closed out his playing career last season in Sweden.
NHL players have till July 15th to accept their qualifying offers. Teams can still negotiate after July 15th but they can pay them less than their QO number if they remain unsigned.
For Blues fans, I would expect Ryan Reaves to sign with St. Louis before Friday.
More to come,
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