Tag: Tim Thomas

Ryan Miller

Miller, Hiller top list of pending UFA goalies


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.

The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Olympic odds, Russia’s defense, King Henrik’s new deal, Fire Cappy? and more

Alex Ovechkin

This is a new thing we’re trying. Every Wednesday, we’ll publish a little back-and-forth we have via email. We’re calling it the Chip ‘n’ Chase. Yes, it’s a terrible name. Enjoy.

Jason Brough: Hey buddy, so I just got Bovada’s latest odds to win Olympic gold. Here’s how they look:

Canada 2/1
Russia 9/4
Sweden 5/1
USA 11/2
Czech Republic 10/1
Finland 12/1
Switzerland 25/1
Slovakia 33/1
Norway 200/1
Latvia 400/1
Austria 900/1
Slovenia 900/1

No huge surprises, though it’s interesting that Russia was the favorite in July, and now Canada is. Personally I’d drop Russia even further down, below Sweden and USA. I know Russia’s got a ridiculously talented group of forwards, but I just can’t get past the candidates on defense, of whom a player by the name of Eugene Ryasensky is apparently one. I suppose it’s possible they could gain an advantage playing at home in Sochi. On the other hand, I could just as easily see them choking under the pressure, as a very unhappy, and possibly shirtless, Vladimir Putin watches on.

Mike Halford: Yeah, that defense. And it’s not like they’ll be able to hide their bottom guys. The Olympics is a bit different than the NHL. “Canada’s fourth line hops over the boards for a rare shift…let’s see what Matt Duchene, Patrick Marleau and Corey Perry can do.” The thing with Russia is you can get caught up playing fantasy hockey with its forwards and, in turn, overlook its glaring roster flaws. Like, yes, Russia could ice a top line of Malkin-Datsyuk-Ovechkin…which it would need, because Anton Volchenkov is anchoring (quite literally) the D. That’s why I really like the Swedes’ chances. They have three of the NHL’s top-10 defenseman scorers — Karlsson, Ekman-Larsson and Kronwall — plus the likes of Brodin, Edler, Hedman, Hjalmarsson, Oduya and Ericsson. I’d argue only Canada has superior blue-line depth, and even then it’s close. But enough about the favorites. One country always seems to surprise at the Olympics — Slovakia in ’10, Belarus in ’02, and I seem to remember the United States playing well in ’80 — so, who’s your dark-horse pick? Are we all overlooking Slovenia, Jason? ARE WE?

JB: I think a lot of people would answer Switzlerland to this question, so I won’t. No disrespect to the Swiss, who won silver at the 2013 Worlds and nearly beat Canada in 2010. They’re like the international version of the 2003 Minnesota Wild. I just don’t want to pick the same dark horse everyone else is picking. For that reason, I think I’ll go with Austria. Not to win a medal, but I could see them pulling an upset and reaching the quarterfinals. Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner are pretty talented players, and I assume their goalies have all the necessary equipment — glove, blocker, chest protector, etc. Oh, and let’s not forget that Austria won gold at the 1927 European championships. So this is a team with a history of success at big tournaments.

source: APMH: How they beat Belgium that year, I’ll never know. I see you mentioned Grabner and Vanek, so congrats are in order — you wrote about the Islanders without questioning Jack Capuano’s job security. Why do you hate Jack Capuano so much, Jason? Is it his hair? His wardrobe? His charming Rhode Island accent? I just don’t get why you’re constantly writing about his potential firing. Is it because New York has lost seven straight and sits last in the Metropolitan Division, seven points back of a playoff spot? Oh, wait, I get it now. I guess I just feel bad for Capuano, who lest we forget isn’t far removed from helping the Isles snap a five-season playoff drought, for which he finished fifth in the Jack Adams voting. I fail to see how this year’s flawed team — terrible goaltending, no Streit/Visnovsky, etc. — lands at his feet, but I guess that’s the business. Garth Snow might have immense loyalty to Cappy but, as the old saying goes, you can’t fire the players, you can only trade them to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek.

JB: You make it sound like I’ve been pushing for his firing. Not true. I feel for the guy, too. I’m simply wondering where Snow’s breaking point exists. It took a 10-game winless streak for Scott Gordon to get canned in 2010, and the Isles could easily get to that point with their upcoming road trip through St. Louis, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, and Phoenix. I agree, the team has flaws — significant ones, and those fall on management and ownership — but that doesn’t mean Capuano should escape responsibility. Otherwise, why not just prop up a mannequin, or one of those water-drinking toy birds, behind the bench and call it coach? Actually, I wonder if the Isles might consider that. If there’s one NHL team that loves to save a buck, it’s the Isles. And I bet the water-drinking bird would work cheap, unless it has a really good agent. Anyway, maybe it’ll be good for the Isles to get out on the road, even if it’s to play five of the top teams in the league. At least there won’t be any “Fire Cappy” or “Snow Must Go” chants for a little while.

MH: Funny you mention the financial limitations the Islanders face, because they were only accentuated by their hated rivals, the Rangers, who just dropped nearly $60 million to retain Henrik Lundqvist. That’s a lot of scratch, but I guess when you’re negotiating with the NHL’s most consistent goalie over the last eight years, you gotta pay that man his money. The goalie market is blowing my mind a little bit right now. Lundqvist, Rask, Rinne, Quick and Luongo are all on mega-deals, to the point where the contracts for Price, Smith and Howard — which are all six years and worth at least $31 million — seem conservative. At this point, I don’t know whether a guy like Ryan Miller is in a good position or a bad one. He could capitalize on the “good goalies get paid” trend, but where? So many teams have locked into their guys, it’s not like he’s going to have his choice of places to play. Same goes for other pending UFA goalies like Jonas Hiller, Jaroslav Halak and Tim Thomas.

source: Getty ImagesJB: The Rangers were always going to pay Lundqvist. He’s arguably the best goalie in the world, and you don’t let a player like that walk away. Especially if you’re one of the league’s financial powerhouses. And especially when he’s so handsome. Wait, what? But you’re right, the goalie market is fascinating. For GMs, it’s a question of paying for certainty with a proven veteran, or rolling the dice on a youngster or reclamation project. Personally I’d be wary of giving a goalie a lengthy contract. Look at what happened in Vancouver with Roberto Luongo. Look at Pekka Rinne’s health issues. Not to mention, so much of goaltending is mental, and a goalie’s mind can be a fragile thing. They’re a bit like golfers and NFL kickers in that way — one day they look amazing, the next you wonder if they can tie their shoes. Yet having said all that, if a team doesn’t get good goaltending, it’s pretty much finished, so I fully understand the desire to get the good ones locked up. Do you get the feeling I’d be a very indecisive general manager?

MH: Yes, but I don’t think you have to worry about it.

Goalie nods: Nilsson gets second straight for Isles, Peters goes for ‘Canes


All the latest from around the crease…

Isles go with Nilsson again

Desperate to find some answers in net, the Islanders will give Anders Nilsson his second straight start tonight against Pittsburgh.

Nilsson, who on Saturday stopped 27 of 30 shots in a 3-2 OT loss to Washington, will try to build some positive momentum in place of Kevin Poulin, who inherited the No. 1 gig after incumbent starter Evgeni Nabokov went down to injury.

Nilsson is young (23) and has good size — 6-foot-5, 227 pounds — so perhaps he can stake a claim for additional playing time. He’ll be up against Marc-Andre Fleury tonight.

Carolina goes back to Peters

Justin Peters will make his first start since Nov. 21 tonight in Washington.

Peters, 27, filled in admirably while No. 1 goalie Cam Ward was hurt, and put up decent numbers (2.49 GAA, .920 save percentage) despite posting a 4-7-1 record. Peters will be looking for his first road win of the season tonight at Verizona, and will take on Braden Holtby in the Caps goal.


San Jose at Toronto: Antti Niemi vs. James Reimer.

Tampa Bay at Columbus: Ben Bishop vs. Sergei Bobrovsky.

Ottawa at Florida: Craig Anderson vs. Tim Thomas.

Dallas at Chicago: Kari Lehtonen vs. Corey Crawford.

Phoenix at Edmonton: Mike Smith vs. Devan Dubnyk.

Vancouver at Nashville: Canucks are unconfirmed, but it’s likely Roberto Luongo will start after sitting on Sunday vs. Carolina. Marek Mazanec is in for the Preds.

Los Angeles at Anaheim: The Kings are also unconfirmed, but it sounds like Martin Jones might make his NHL debut. Ben Scrivens has played 10 straight since Jonathan Quick went down to injury, and could use a rest. Jonas Hiller is in for the Ducks.

PHT Morning Skate: Scott Parker’s post-career concussion struggle

Scott Parker

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.

If you missed this from over the weekend, make it your mandatory read today. Former Avalanche forward Scott Parker has been retired from hockey for six years and battles concussion issues still to this day. (The Denver Post)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $2,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $550. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan has a pretty great team to coach this season. How does it compare to his first on the job though? (CSNBayArea.com)

Antti Raanta is an easy-going guy and that’s helping him fit in with the Chicago Blackhawks. (CSNChicago.com)

You better believe Tim Thomas wants to represent the United States in Sochi. (Miami Herald)

Among the many problems the Edmonton Oilers have, their power play is high on the list at the moment. (Edmonton Journal)

Tim Thomas pulled after second period with Panthers trailing Penguins

Florida Panthers v Calgary Flames

Tim Thomas didn’t have his best night for the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

The veteran 39-year-old goaltender started against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but wasn’t on the ice for the third period after allowing four goals only 13 shots through 40 minutes. That’s a .692 save percentage.

He was making his 11th consecutive start in goal for Florida.

The Penguins, as a result, jumped out to a 4-1 lead heading into the final period. Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists for Pittsburgh.

Scott Clemmensen came into the game for the Panthers.