Tag: Dwayne Roloson

Al Montoya

Jets ink Montoya, Flames sign Aliu, Byron


A few minor signings to pass your way…

Jets ink Montoya

Winnipeg has found its backup for Ondrej Pavelec, signing former Islanders goalie Al Montoya to a one-year, $601,000 deal.

Montoya, 26, appeared in 31 games for New York last season, posting a 9-11-5 record with a .893 save percentage and 3.10 GAA.

It once looked as though the former sixth overall pick would never get his career on track — the 2010-11 season, that is. An injury to Rick DiPietro and the Dwayne Roloson-to-Tampa trade opened the door for Montoya to appear in 20 games, and he made the most of his opportunity by posting a 9-5-5 record with a .921 save percentage and 2.39 GAA.

Flames sign pair

Calgary continued to be busy this offseason by inking Akim Aliu and Paul Byron to one-year, two-way deals.

Aliu, 23, will be paid $695,000 at the NHL level next season, $105,000 at the AHL level. He made his NHL debut with the Flames last year and shined in a limited body of work — two games, two goals, one assist, 12 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating.

“Akim made tremendous strides in getting his career development path back on track this past season in Abbotsford and he was rewarded for his hard work by receiving an end-of-season recall to Calgary,” said Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. “In his two games with our Club he showed that he is a very good skater, is willing to play a strong physical game and can also score goals at the NHL level.”

Byron, also 23, appeared in 22 games with Calgary last season scoring 3G-2A-5PTS. He came to the Flames as part of the Robyn Regehr-Chris Butler trade and split time between the NHL and AHL Abbotsford last year. He’ll make $585,000 at the NHL level next season, $105,000 at the AHL.

“Paul was a very valuable depth player for us last season and had a solid playoff-run with Abbotsford,” Feaster said. “Paul looked right at home during his various recalls to Calgary and he demonstrated that he can score goals at the NHL level.”

Leafs, Blue Jackets lead teams with goalie concerns

James Reimer

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.

After Brodeur signs, Devils ink Hedberg to two-year, $2.8 million deal

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The NHL’s oldest goaltending tandem is sticking around for a couple more years.

On Monday, the New Jersey Devils announced they’ve re-upped with Johan Hedberg on a two-year, $2.8 million deal, one that includes a full no-trade clause.

With the earlier announcement of Martin Brodeur signing a two-year deal as well, the Devils retain the oldest goaltending tandem in the league — Brodeur is 40, Hedberg is 39 — with contracts that will take their ‘tenders to ages 42 and 41, respectively.

The deal represents a slight pay bump for Hedberg, who made $1.25 million over each of the last two years. The veteran Swedish netminder appeared in 27 games for the Devils last season, posting a 17-7-3 record with a .918 save percentage, 2.23 GAA while leading the Devils with four shutouts (Brodeur had three.)

It’s a key signing for the Devils. Many credit Hedberg’s large body of work last season as an important part of keeping Brodeur fresh for the postseason.

As for the rest of the league — with Hedberg coming off the market, the UFA goalie pool is officially thinned out. Teams looking for veteran backup help are now left to sift Dwayne Roloson, Alex Auld, Brent Johnson and Ty Conklin, to name a few.

Anders Lindback will try and fix Tampa’s long-running goalie problem

Anders Lindback

When the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004 with Nikolai Khabibulin in net, things were looking good in goal. Following the lockout, however, things have been nothing short of ugly for Tampa Bay in goal.

When you run down the list of guys who have taken up residence in the Lightning net since then you can understand why GM Steve Yzerman ponied up big for Nashville’s Anders Lindback.

Take a look at this list of failed goalies since the Cup-winning year: , Gerald Coleman, Brian Eklund, John Grahame, Sean Burke, Marc Denis, Johan Holmqvist, Karri Ramo, Mike McKenna, Olaf Kolzig, Riku Helenius, Mike Smith, Dan Ellis, Antero Niittymaki, Dustin Tokarski, Cedrick Desjardins, Dwayne Roloson, Sebastien Caron, and Mathieu Garon.

Yikes. Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune hears from Yzerman about what he’s hoping Lindback can provide the Lightning next season.

“It’s an important position, I can’t deny that,” said Yzerman, entering his third season at the Lightning helm. “Ultimately, you want to find that starter that you can put in there for 65 games, under two goals against (average) and in the .930 (save percentage) range – and that’s a priority.

“There aren’t many of them out there and it’s a tough position. The consistently elite guys, you just don’t get those guys.”

Can Lindback be the new stud to bring Tampa Bay to glory or is he just another name to add to the list? Lindback hasn’t gotten to prove much in the NHL and his future could be great or mediocre. Who knew Yzerman was such a gambler?

Goalie fix? Lightning ink Riku Helenius

Steve Yzerman

While the Tampa Bay Lightning’s defense needs some serious help in its own right, Dwayne Roloson’s 2011-12 implosion showed how glaring the Bolts’ hole is in net.* GM Steve Yzerman doesn’t exactly seem enthralled by the free agent market, either … at least in North America. Renaud Lavoie reports that the team signed Riku Helenius to a two-year deal today.

Lavoie reports that the two-year deal begins as a two-way contract in 2012-13 and then becomes a one-way one in 2013-14. He’ll register a $600K cap hit when he’s at the NHL level, with a $550K salary in 12-13 and $650K in 13-14.

This isn’t the first time the Lightning franchise and Helenius have been connected. They selected him with the 15th pick of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, so it’s likely he’s been on the Bolts’ radar for some time. Judging by the one-way nature of the second season, it’s obvious that the Lightning plan for him to at least be a backup within the life of the contract.

Yzerman might have even bigger hopes, though.

* – Seeing Mike Smith enjoy a borderline-Vezina campaign with Phoenix reinforced both ideas, by the way.