The 2015 offseason is almost upon us, although a Stanley Cup Champion is still to be crowned and 210 draft picks still need to be made before any free agents can be signed. But the time between Connor McDavid being named the 1st overall pick to the Edmonton Oilers, to July 1st will be an extremely busy time for each NHL team. And in that time, it seems there are plenty of NHL calibre players that are destined to be traded. Not only skaters, but goaltenders as well.
Multiple goaltenders find themselves in a sticky situation right now, where they don’t have as much playing time as they’d like, or they simply can’t see their future in that city. There are a few goalies possibly available that could make a great difference to a lot of NHL teams. Below are the 5 goalies with the best chances of being dealt before the start of the 2015-16 season, and their possible destinations.
5: Viktor Fasth
Fasth is a 32 year old backup for the Edmonton Oilers. He had success in his stint with the Anaheim Ducks in 2012-13, but playing behind an embarrassing Edmonton Oilers defensive core his numbers were destroyed. He had a 3.41 GAA and an .888 SV% over 26 games with the Oilers last year. Fasth likely won’t want to stay in Edmonton in their rebuilding situation. Likewise, the Oilers would definitely like an upgrade. He could serve as a valuable backup for a team with solid defence which wouldn’t allow a ton of shots.
4: Reto Berra
Berra served as a backup for the Colorado Avalanche in his second NHL season. He’s a 28 year old, 6’4 goaltender who took a huge step forward with the Avs this year, posting a 2.65 GAA and a .918 SV% in 19 stints. He has cat like reflexes and is extremely calm in the net. In Colorado, Calvin Pickard looks to be taking over the backup role as he features grater potential. He could definitely serve as a solid backup in the NHL with some upside.
-Columbus Blue Jackets
3: Antti Raanta
Raanta put up a spectacular 1.89 GAA and a .936 SV% in 14 games with the Chicago Blackhawks this year, his second NHL season. At 26 years old, he made some great improvements in his stints. Raanta is very sound positionally and uses his solid side to side movement to get to any rebounds. He may be getting lost behind Scott Darling for the backup role, and therefore may be looking for a job with more opportunities. Can be a very reliable backup.
-Toronto Maple Leafs
2: Robin Lehner
Lehner took a minor step back this season with the Ottawa Senators, allowing 3.02 goals per game, and stopping 90.5% of his shots faced. Lerner was once the top goalie prospect in the league, but hasn’t developed very well in Ottawa. After re-signing Andrew Hammond for 3 years, Lehner may be on his way out. Lerner does have great potential, when he uses his 6’4 frame to his advantage and cuts down shooting angles.
1: Cam Talbot
Talbot has all the makings of a starting goalie in the NHL, and he proved that this year when Henrik Lundqvist went down to injury. Also in his second NHL season, Talbot was again fantastic in his backup role, posting a 2.21 GAA and a .926 SV% in 36 appearances. He plays big in the net and moves well laterally. He always remains cool and calm to keep his positioning. Talbot could be looking for a new home, with the chance of becoming an NHL starter.
-San Jose Sharks
All in all, there are certainly some valuable goaltenders available in the offseason, and with more than a few teams with needs in crease, there’s a good chance for 3 or 4 of these goalies to be traded. There’s likely three backups, one potential starter, and one probable starter for those looking. This offseason promises to be one of the busiest and most exciting in recent memory.
Who do you think should be traded this offseason? Discuss in the comments below!
Contributor for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Prospects. Scout with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. For questions, concerns, or comments, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @SlawsonTHW.