This offseason, the Pittsburgh Penguins made a few moves as the team tried to make themselves tougher to play against. While the additions of Brock McGinn and Danton Heinen up front should certainly provide depth to the forward group, management should consider bringing in a veteran goalie to training camp to ramp up the internal competition in the crease.
As of right now, the Penguins head into next season with Tristan Jarry as their starter and Casey DeSmith as their backup. NHL experience is certainly not a premium with these two. While general manager Ron Hextall recently gave Jarry a huge vote of confidence, he should look into a professional tryout for one of these three netminders.
3 Goalies to Penguins Should Look to Add for Training Camp
There’s a reason the 35-year-old isn’t signed and that’s because he struggled last season. That being said, he was dealt before the season and during and could never find his game on a consistent basis. Dubnyk ended the season with the Colorado Avalanche and posted a .886 save percentage in five regular-season games. He was brought in as protection should Philipp Grubauer get injured again in Colorado, as they’ve seen in the past the value of goaltending depth. This is a perfect lesson for the Penguins to learn from.
Dubnyk’s numbers have declined the past few seasons, however considering the Penguins have minimal talent in the pipeline and have basically handed both jobs to Jarry and DeSmith, they may want to consider bringing in Dubnyk on a tryout basis to see if he can push DeSmith for the backup position. His 542 NHL games under his belt could help give Jarry a mentor and, along with new goaltending coach Andy Chiodo, could help the young netminder with the mental side of the game.
McElhinney is another netminder who has been around the block and is coming off back-to-back Stanley Cup championships with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning decided it was time to move in a different direction this summer and went with the slightly younger Brian Elliott.
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While McElhinney didn’t see a sniff of action in postseason play the past two seasons, the 38-year-old played in 30 combined games during the regular seasons. Age is just a number, and McElhinney could have some game left in his pads, considering the workload.
McElhinney is another veteran tender who is in need of a contract and may end up accepting a professional tryout to battle for a backup role. With the injury history of DeSmith and the limited options behind him, having some internal competition is going to be ideal for Hextall and company. McElhinney doesn’t need a ton of work as we’ve seen in Tampa Bay, so having him play 20-25 games could be the perfect setup.
The southpaw has been a bit of a suitcase in recent seasons, as he hasn’t managed to play more than one NHL game since his time with the New Jersey Devils during the 2019-20 season. Domingue is a lanky, athletic netminder who can surprise in short stretches. His best performance was with the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he played 12 games and posted a 2.88 goals-against average.
Domingue is a goalie that’s hovered around the league minimum when it comes to salary, so considering his future in the league, he would be open as anyone to accept a training camp invite. At 6-foot-3 and left-handed, he would certainly bring a new element to the Penguins crease they haven’t seen in quite some time.
Pittsburgh heads into next season with one of the most inexperienced goalie tandems in the league. While none of these options would move the needle when it comes to making the team a cup contender, they would provide some more competition for training camp and could push the best out of their assembled talent. As it stands right now, Jarry and DeSmith are locks, and Hextall and company may want to consider adding one more name to the mix to stir the pot. The cream always rises to the top; it’s time for the Penguins to turn up the heat.
Shane’s been a part of The Hockey Writers team since 2020, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs & Pittsburgh Penguins. A constant contributor, his versatile perspective on game results and everything off the ice produces diverse content. You can also find him on the Maple Leafs Lounge podcast with Peter Baracchini and Alex Hobson. Follow along on Twitter @ShugMcSween