New York Islanders

Even after flurry of trades, goalie market is far from settled

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There were seven different trades over the course of Friday and Saturday that involved a goaltender, but even after that there are teams that still need to address their situation between the pipes. With the free agent period just around the corner and the trade market now in full swing, the pieces are likely to continue to fall into place rapidly. While we have a breather though, let’s take a look at where we stand.

Has Dallas addressed its goaltending needs?

Kari Lehtonen failed to live up to expectations last season so the Dallas Stars would naturally like to hedge their bets going forward. They’ve already taken a step towards that end by acquiring the rights to Antti Niemi from San Jose, but it remains to be seen if they can sign the netminder before he become an unrestricted free agent.

If they do sign Niemi, that might not settle their goaltending situation. He has spent the better part of his career serving as a starter and while his last two seasons haven’t been amazing, it’s likely that he’ll expect a significantly bigger salary than your typical backup. Which isn’t an issue by itself, but Dallas is still tied to Lehtonen for another three seasons at $5.9 million in cap space annually. That means Dallas will be dedicating a lot of its cap to goaltending and that’s something that may complicate matters for the squad unless it’s addressed.

What’s next for San Jose?

Meanwhile, San Jose still needs someone to work with Alex Stalock. The 27-year-old netminder had a 2.62 GAA and .902 save percentage in 22 games last season, so ideally the Sharks will want someone that can at least seriously challenge him for the starting job.

There are some noteworthy pending UFAs out there including Viktor Fasth, Karri Ramo, and Michal Neuvirth, but it’s also possible San Jose will make another trade.

“We’ve been exploring things for quite awhile, a lot of it in the trade market obviously,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson told CSN Bay Area. “As we’ve looked at it, we think there’s probably more goalies than there are teams. There’s more people that are available or could be available in discussions than you guys probably hear about.”

Who will be Steve Mason’s backup in Philadelphia?

With Ray Emery’s contract set to expire, the Flyers are in the market for a backup goaltender. They didn’t want to take part in the flurry of goaltending trades though.

“I didn’t want to give up an asset for a backup, quite honestly,” Flyers GM Ron Hextall told CSN Philly. “Did I talk to anybody? People called and I found out the prices.”

With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Philadelphia find its number two netminder on the free agent market.

Anaheim has created something of a logjam

When the Anaheim Ducks acquired Anton Khudobin from Carolina, it led some to naturally wonder if 21-year-old goaltender John Gibson was on the block. Ducks GM Bob Murray’s response was not family friendly, but the short version of his answer is: No.

So we can only assume that this issue won’t be addressed this summer, which makes it unique among the goaltending situations discussed here. Even still, it is awkward as this likely means that Gibson will be expected to spend the 2015-16 campaign in the minors after posting a decent 2.60 GAA and .914 save percentage in 23 games with Anaheim last season. This might just be a short-term setback for him though as Khudobin only has a year left on his contract before he can test the unrestricted free agent market.

Six-year deal for Dubnyk is ’99 percent done’

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Devan Dubnyk is close to cashing in on his remarkable bounce-back season.

From Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

The deal is “99 percent done,” according to GM Chuck Fletcher. It may not be announced until Monday.

Click here to see comparable cap hits for NHL goalies. The highest belongs to Henrik Lundqvist, at $8.5 million. Dubnyk, at $4.3 million, would be right between Steve Mason ($4.1 million) and Jaroslav Halak ($4.5 million). Which is more than reasonable for a Vezina Trophy finalist.

It’s Dubnyk’s six-year term that brings a higher degree of risk into the equation for the club. The 29-year-old has had wildly mixed results during his NHL career. Only a year ago he was worrying he could be out of the league completely. Now he’s about to turn a 39-game run into a contract that won’t expire until 2021.

Update: Here’s the latest word:

Related: So…what should the Wild do with Dubnyk?

More trades: Oilers send Marincin to Leafs, get Gryba from Sens

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New Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli stayed busy on Day 2 of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft — shortly after acquiring Cam Talbot from New York, Chiarelli shipped out d-man Martin Marincin to Toronto, then acquired blueliner Eric Gryba from Ottawa.

The deals:

Marincin, a 23-year-old pending RFA, appeared in 41 games for Edmonton last year, scoring five points. The former second-round pick (46th overall, 2010) has split most of the last three seasons between the Oilers and their AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.

Gryba, 27, heads to Edmonton with a more polished NHL resume and one year left on his two-year, $2.5 million deal. The Boston University product is coming off his best season, posting career highs in games (75) and points (12). He’ll be part of a new-look Oilers blueline next season, which will likely feature Griffin Reinhart — acquired from the Islanders yesterday — and Darnell Nurse, who could become a full-time NHLer next season.

Julien ‘pretty impressed’ with Sweeney’s moves

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Claude Julien has a weaker roster today than he did entering the draft. Gone in separate trades are Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton, in return for prospects.

But the Bruins’ head coach struck a supportive tone late Friday when asked about his rookie general manager, Don Sweeney.

“First of all, I think you’ve got to give Don a lot of credit,” Julien said, per the Bruins’ website. “He’s come into this in this role and there was a lot on his plate, and a lot going on, and there were some tough decisions to be made, and personally, I’m pretty impressed with how he’s handled it.

“And that’s not to say that I’m happy that Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic are gone – we just lost two pretty good players, but those are moves that probably had to be made, obviously with the situation we’re in with the cap and everything else and the future.”

The decision to trade Hamilton was the most surprising. Sweeney offered a cryptic response when asked yesterday for an explanation.

“I think everyone considers Dougie as a foundational-type player,” said Sweeney, “and it was indicated to us that that might not be the case going forward in Boston.”

Regardless of why Hamilton left, the Bruins’ defense, a group that struggled last season to make up for the loss of Johnny Boychuk, will now have to try and make up for another big loss.

Sweeney called it “a great opportunity” for some of the “kids” on Boston’s defense — a sentiment with which his coach agreed.

“I can’t go into the year saying it’s going to be tough, I need to be optimistic, I need to believe,” said Julien. “We have guys who can skate, the Joe Morrows are down there, the [Zach] Trotmans, and there’s some more time here to maybe add if we need to.”

Trade: Oilers send picks 16 and 33 to Islanders for Griffin Reinhart

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The New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers combined for an eyebrow-raiser during the 2015 NHL Draft.

The Oilers sent the 16th and 33rd picks in 2015 to the Islanders for defenseman Griffin Reinhart. GM Garth Snow & Co. already cashed in that 16th pick, nabbing Mathew Barzal.

Barzal could be an interesting upside guy for the Islanders, as the playmaker’s stock dropped a bit thanks in part to a knee injury. Read more about the prospect here.

(We’ll wait until Saturday to see what comes of that 33rd pick.)

Edmonton should be familiar with Reinhart, as he won a Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings. The 21-year-old’s name has been connected to interesting draft-day stories already, as the Columbus Blue Jackets memorably turned down a boatload of Islanders picks and took Ryan Murray in 2012, forcing New York to settle for Reinhart.

At least, it certainly seems like they settled considering this move.

The Oilers’ side is obvious, too: they add another young player and try to improve a shaky blueline in this bold swap.