Now that Martin Brodeur (and Johan Hedberg) have re-signed in New Jersey, let’s take a look at the remaining unrestricted free agent goalies.
Based on games started in 2011-12, from most to least, they go like this: Dwayne Roloson, Al Montoya, Brent Johnson, Ty Conklin, Andrew Raycroft, Alex Auld, Dan Ellis, and you get the point – there’s nobody that’s going to significantly improve a team at the position.
Now let’s consider the teams that have question marks in net:
Toronto – Leafs GM Brian Burke has said he’s willing to go into the season with the tandem of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens, but you can bet he’s not happy about it. Miss the playoffs again and Burke could be looking for work, not a goalie. All of which is why we’ll keep monitoring the Roberto Luongo situation in Vancouver. At the moment, Florida is believed to be the most likely to land the Canucks’ goalie.
Columbus –Scott Howson went out and got Sergei Brobovsky from the Flyers, but can the embattled Blue Jackets GM trust a 23-year-old that’s coming off a bad season when his only other options are Steve Mason and Allen York? At least Howson has lowered expectations on his side.
Chicago – The Blackhawks were reportedly interested in Brodeur when he was exploring free agency, and for good reason – Corey Crawford struggled badly in 2011-12 and the backup, Ray Emery, didn’t do any better. GM Stan Bowman can’t let goaltending drag his Stanley Cup contender down again.
Tampa Bay – Anders Lindback may be the Lightning’s goalie of the future, but GM Steve Yzerman would be asking a lot of the 24-year-old with 28 NHL starts under his belt to take over the top spot right away. Mathieu Garon is under contract for another season, but he’s bounced around the league for a reason.
Flyers d-man Radko Gudas doesn’t have a disciplinary hearing scheduled for his hit on Buffalo’s Daniel Catenacci on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman has confirmed.
Gudas was given a five-minute charging major for laying out Catenacci late in the third period of Philly’s 5-1 win. The hit ended Catenacci’s night, a tough way for the 22-year-old to finish just his third NHL contest.
After the contest, Buffalo players and head coach Dan Bylsma didn’t mince words when it came to Gudas’ actions.
“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News. “I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”
“That guy’s an idiot and stupid,” Foligno said of Gudas, per the Courier-Post. “He gets his hits in, he’s dirty and he’s been known for it. He goes after a rookie who plays in three games and goes right at his head.
“He’s an idiot, that guy.”
Gudas certainly has furthered his reputation as a dangerous hitter this season.
In December, he was suspended three games for a headshot on Mika Zibanejad and, earlier this month, was tossed from a game against Montreal for clipping, after delivering a low hit on Habs forward Lucas Lessio.
Details surrounding Carey Price‘s injury have been scarce, but according to La Presse newspaper, the chances of him returning to the lineup this season are “slim” at best.
The 28-year-old has been out with a lower-body injury since Nov. 25.
His return date has been pushed back several times, and La Presse suggests that’ll happen again.
Originally, the Canadiens said Price would be out six weeks. Then, on January 21, General Manager Marc Bergevin said he expected his goalie to be out another three to four weeks, which means that he would be coming back sometime next week.
Price has been skating for a while, but he’s been doing so without his goalie equipment.
Basically, don’t hold your breath.
Here’s an excerpt from the story (quotes have been translated):
The possibility of Carey Price returning this season are so slim that people in the organization don’t even believe it’ll happen.
According to information obtained by La Presse, the Canadiens aren’t optimistic about their star goaltender’s chances of returning this season. He’s been out since November and the club refuses to confirm the fact that he suffered a right knee injury.
The report goes on to say that Price is dealing with a Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) injury. The only good news is that he won’t have to undergo surgery.
“People in the Canadiens organization don’t believe he’ll be back during the regular season,” a source told La Presse’s Richard Labbé. “They’re wondering if it’s even worth pushing him to come back, but they don’t want to admit anything publicly.
“They don’t want the fans to give up hope this season. There’s a marketing aspect to all of this.”
The story also mentions that Price is telling people that he’ll be healthy enough to represent Canada at the World Cup of Hockey next September.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
–Snoop Dog wore a Mitch Marner London Knights jersey at his concert in London. (Bardown)
—Brent Burns‘ son got a gift from Jaromir Jagr:
–Here’s Pierre LeBrun’s latest edition of Team Canada’s World Cup roster. (ESPN)
–The NHL completely ruined the Toronto Maple Leafs’ centennial season. (Puck Daddy)
–The Chicago Blackhawks will be going to the White House on Feb. 18. (Blackhawks.nhl.com)
–Wings goalie Petr Mrazek talks to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman about “doing the right things” and “working hard”. (Sportsnet)
If you turned off Thursday’s Calgary Flames – San Jose Sharks game early, you’ll probably be stunned to see that Calgary won 6-5 via a shootout.
- A Sharks fan may have bitterly called it a night when Calgary went up 4-1.
- Conversely, a Flames devotee might have retired after San Jose took a 5-4 lead, possibly with a broken remote.
The Flames only trailed for about two minutes before scoring the last “real” goal of the game, eventually taking their third straight win thanks to a shootout triumph.
It’s been a strange ride for Calgary, with its most recent win happening after Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma were punished with a healthy scratch. As strange as this game was, the “charity point” can leave both teams looking through a lot of film, yet with something gained as well.
Ultimately, the message may very well be: don’t sleep on these teams.
(In less positive news, Karri Ramo is injured, and it doesn’t look good.
Jonas Hiller closing out the game on a hot streak could be pretty important if Ramo’s out for some time.)