Scott Clemmensen

The few, the proud, the UFA goalies


Yesterday, we compiled a list of pending UFA defensemen after Barret Jackman re-signed in St. Louis.

Today, in the wake of Josh Harding’s decision to stay in Minnesota, let’s look at the top goalies that could become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Scott Clemmensen – With all due respect, you know it’s a limited field when a 34-year-old that’s never started more than 39 games in a regular season is first on the list. Clemmensen went 14-6-6 with a .913 save percentage with the Panthers in 2011-12. His cap hit shouldn’t exceed $2 million, unless he’s got a fantastic agent.

Martin Biron – It was reported June 8 that the Rangers wanted to re-sign the 34-year-old to return as Henrik Lundqvist’s back-up, but so far no deal has been reached. Biron’s numbers (12-6-2, .904 SV%) were far from fantastic in 2011-12, and he hasn’t been a regular starter since 2008-09 when he was in Philadelphia.

Jonas Gustavsson – “The Monster” is coming off a tough season in Toronto, but only three years ago Leafs GM Brian Burke was thrilled to sign the late bloomer out of Sweden. “Jonas is considered by many to be the best goaltender not playing in the NHL today,” said Burke. Since then, Gustavsson has gone 39-45-0 with a .900 save percentage.

Chris Mason – A 36-year-old that went 8-7-1 with a .898 SV% last season in Winnipeg. And yes, he’s fourth on our list.

Other UFAs include Dan Ellis, Johan Hedberg, and Al Montoya.

Of course, teams like Toronto and Columbus that are desperate for help in goal have other avenues to address their needs. There’s the trade route – Roberto Luongo is believed to be available, and maybe Niklas Backstrom can be had out of Minnesota now (Update: nope.). Alternatively, an aggressive offer sheet could be put in front of restricted free agents like Cory Schneider and Ondrej Pavelec. Or, they could be targeted by trade.

Oh, and almost forgot — Dominik Hasek.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.