Ryan Miller

Miller, Hiller top list of pending UFA goalies

3 Comments

Henrik Lundqvist is no longer a pending unrestricted free agent, and he won’t be until 2020-21. But there are many, many other goalies that still have the option to freely explore the market this summer.

Ryan Miller: By far the highest-profile UFA of the bunch. Miller, 33, hasn’t registered a save percentage below .915 since 2007-08, and general managers will pay for that sort of consistency and reliability. Rumor has it Miller wants to end up in California, but of the three teams in The Golden State, only Anaheim’s starting goaltending situation is up in the air for next season, and that’s due to too many options, not too few.

Jonas Hiller: The 31-year-old has been up and down for the Ducks this season, but it’s his .917 career save percentage in 276 starts that stands out. That number is right up there with the best in the business. On Tuesday, he stopped 49 shots in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Kings. “He was the reason we got a point tonight,” said Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau.

Other veteran UFAs include Jaroslav Halak (good goalie and only 28 years old, but comes with an injury history), Tim Thomas (turns 40 in April), and Martin Brodeur (turns 42 in May).

Ben Scrivens: The 27-year-old former Leaf has been brilliant for the Kings, registering a .943 save percentage in 15 appearances and making the injury to Jonathan Quick a non-factor for L.A.. Well, actually, that’s not true. Because Scrivens has actually played much better than Quick was playing before he got hurt. Not a negative factor, is what we should have said. The obvious caveat: Scrivens remains unproven, with just 40 NHL starts on his resume.

Anton Khudobin: Also 27, and also playing for a new team this season after coming to Carolina via Boston. In 24 NHL games, Khudobin has a career save percentage of .932. Pretty good, but like Scrivens, not a particularly big body of work from which to predict his future. We also mention Khudobin because the ‘Canes are reportedly fielding trade inquiries on both him and their other 27-year-old pending UFA goalie, Justin Peters.

Still more: Ilya Bryzgalov, Devan Dubnyk, Ray Emery, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Thomas Greiss, Curtis McElhinney, Chad Johnson, Jonas Gustavsson, and Brian Elliott. Are we forgetting anyone? Probably.

Anyway, lots of names to consider. As we touched on in the Chip ‘n’ Chase, the goalie market isn’t like the market for skaters. It should be interesting to see which GMs go for the reliability that a veteran can provide and which ones roll the dice on a less proven commodity.

Canada scores five unanswered in 5-1 rout of Team USA at Worlds

iihf1
Leave a comment

Team Canada’s veteran lineup was too much for the young Americans to handle today in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where the Canadians rolled to a convincing 5-1 victory as the preliminary round of the World Championship got underway.

The United States actually opened the scoring, on a first-period, power-play goal by Patrick Maroon. But Taylor Hall quickly tied it, and soon after that, Brendan Gallagher gave the Canadians the lead. Matt Duchene, Boone Jenner, and Brad Marchand added the insurance goals for Canada.

Keith Kinkaid was in goal for the Americans, Cam Talbot for the Canadians.

Auston Matthews logged 16:56 in ice time and registered three shots for Team USA, who play Belarus tomorrow.

The Canadians are off until Sunday, when they’ll take on Hungary.

Rangers’ Lindberg has hip surgery, will need six months to recover

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Oscar Lindberg #24 of the New York Rangers celebrates his second goal of the game at 5:12 of the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden on October 10, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Getty
Leave a comment

The New York Rangers announced this morning that forward Oscar Lindberg has undergone a “successful simultaneous bilateral hip labral repair.”

That’s a long way of saying he had hip surgery.

The Rangers say the expected recovery time for Lindberg is six months, meaning the 24-year-old is likely to get a late start to next season.

In 2015-16, his first full season in the NHL, Lindberg had 13 goals and 15 assists in 68 games. However, he was a regular healthy scratch down the stretch.

“I thought Oscar was playing well,” head coach Alain Vigneault said in March. “But when Rick Nash came back, we had 13 healthy forwards. It’s just the way it slotted out.”

In the playoffs, Lindberg dressed for just two of the Rangers’ five contests (Games 4 and 5 versus Pittsburgh).

Related: Rangers sign Lindberg

Report: Wild talked to Crawford, Boucher about head coaching gig

Guy Boucher
AP
Leave a comment

Of all the available coaching gigs, Minnesota’s seems to be the most muddled right now — there’s still no word on the status of interim bench boss John Torchetti, and GM Chuck Fletcher has reached out to both Randy Carlyle and Bruce Boudreau.

Now, the Star-Tribune is reporting Fletcher has also contacted another pair of veteran coaches: Marc Crawford and Guy Boucher.

Crawford, fresh off a four-year stint in the Swiss League — where he coached coveted draft prospect Auston Matthews in Zurich — is gunning for an NHL return, and would even accept an assistant coaching position to get his foot back in the door.

Related: Marc Crawford coaching in Detroit? Hey, could happen…

Boucher, also coming off a stint in the Swiss League, wants back in the NHL as well. He was in the running for a pair of gigs last offseason — Toronto, which ultimately went to Mike Babcock, and New Jersey, which ultimately went to John Hynes.

An interesting wrinkle with the Wild’s coaching search? Per the Star-Tribune, it sounds like coaches might be asking as many questions of Fletcher as Fletcher is of the coaches. The longtime GM has come under fire recently for the club’s current roster makeup, which forced owner Craig Leipold to give Fletcher a public vote of confidence during the playoffs.

Caggiula expected to sign shortly, Canucks could be front-runners

during the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championships at Amalie Arena on April 9, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.The North Dakota Fighting Hawks defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats 5-1 to win the national title. Getty
Getty
1 Comment

College free agent Drake Caggiula is expected to pick a team shortly, possibly even today.

The University of North Dakota winger had originally shortlisted six teams, according to a report. Those teams were Philadelphia, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver, Chicago and Buffalo.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie said this morning on Edmonton radio that the Canucks are “maybe” the front-runners to land the 21-year-old. Vancouver signed Caggiula’s teammate, defenseman Troy Stecher, a couple of weeks ago, and Caggiula’s linemate, Brock Boeser, was drafted by the Canucks in the first round last year.

Recently, Boeser told Postmedia that he was trying to convince Caggiula to sign with Vancouver, where there will be plenty of opportunities for young forwards in the next couple of years.

If it’s not the Canucks, McKenzie said he’s heard the Oilers have a “puncher’s chance” of getting Caggiula.