The 2012 Summer Goalie Market

With a little more than one month to go before the July 1st Unrestricted Free Agents frenzy begins, questions abound regarding the status of quality goaltenders such as Roberto Luongo, Tim Thomas, Tomas Vokoun, Miikka Kiprusoff and Jonathan Bernier. The teams looking to add a proven netminder, namely the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New York Islanders and the Chicago Blackhawks, will have plenty of options to fill the void they have in net, whether it is via trade or free agency.

Below you will find a list of the goaltenders most likely to change teams this summer.

The UFAs:

Martin Brodeur
Martin Brodeur will most likely return with the Devils (Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE)

Martin Brodeur, New Jersey – 31-21-4, 2.41 GAA, .908 Save % Prediction: will re-sign with the Devils

Tomas Vokoun, Washington – 25-17-2, 2.51 GAA, .917 Save % Prediction: will test free agency and sign in the KHL

Josh Harding, Minnesota – 13-12-4, 2.62 GAA, .917 Save % Prediction: will test free agency and receive an NHL contract

Scott Clemmensen, Florida – 14-6-6, 2.57 GAA, .913 Save % Prediction: will test free agency and receive an NHL contract

Martin Biron, New York – 12-6-2, 2.46 GAA, .904 Save % Prediction: will resign with the Rangers

Chris Mason, Winnipeg – 8-7-1, 2.59 GAA, .898 Save % Prediction: will test free agency and receive a two-way contract

Johan Hedberg, New Jersey – 17-7-2, 2.23 GAA, .918 Save % Prediction: will resign with the Devils

Jonas Gustavsson, Toronto – 17-17-4, 2.92 GAA, .902 Save % Prediction: will test free agency and receive an NHL contract

Dwayne Roloson, Tampa Bay – 13-16-3, 3.66 GAA, .886 Save % Prediction: will announce his retirement

Curtis Sanford, Columbus – 10-18-4, 2.60 GAA, .911 Save % Prediction: will test free agency and receive a two-way contract

Brent Johnson, Pittsburgh – 6-7-2, 3.11 GAA, .883 Save % Prediction: will announce his retirement

Al Montoya, Long Island – 9-11-5, 3.10 GAA, .893 Save % Prediction: will test free agency and receive an NHL contract

Ty Conklin, Detroit – 5-6-1, 3.28 GAA, .884 Save % Prediction: will announce his retirement

Alex Auld, Ottawa – 2-4-2, 3.35 GAA, .884 Save % Prediction: will test free agency and receive a two-way contract

Andrew Raycroft, Dallas – 2-8-0, 3.52 GAA, .898 Save % Prediction: will test free agency and receive a minor-league contract

Dan Ellis, Anaheim – 1-5-0, 2.72 GAA, .911 Save % Prediction: will test free agency and receive a minor-league contract

Michael Leighton, Philadelphia – played in the AHL Prediction: will be re-signed by the Flyers, but at a lower price

Antero Niittymaki, San Jose – played in the AHL Prediction: will sign a contract in Europe

Roberto Luongo says he wants out of Vancouver (carsonballer14/Flickr)

The trade baits:

Roberto Luongo, Vancouver – 31-14-8, 2.41 GAA, .919 Save % Prediction: will be traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Ryan Malone, a 2nd round draft pick and a prospect

Tim Thomas, Boston – 35-19-1, 2.36 GAA, .920 Save % Prediction: will be traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for Ray Emery, Dave Bolland and Kyle Beach

Jonathan Bernier, Los Angeles – 5-6-2, 2.36 GAA, .909 Save % Prediction: will be traded to the New York Islanders with Thomas Hickey for Nino Niederreiter and a 3rd round draft pick

Nikolai Khabibulin, Edmonton – 12-20-7, 2.65 GAA, .910 Save % Prediction: will not find any takers and will remain with the Oilers

Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary – 35-22-11, 2.35, .921 Save % Prediction: will not find any takers and will remain with the Flames

Sergei Bobrovsky, Philadelphia – 14-10-2, 3.02, .899 Save % Prediction: will be traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 4th round draft pick and Korbinian Holzer

Boston then trades Ray Emery to Winnipeg for a draft pick.

Potential goaltending duos for next season:

Anaheim Ducks: Jonas Hiller-Viktor Fasth

Boston Bruins: Tuuka Rask-Anton Khudobin

Buffalo Sabres: Ryan Miller-Jhonas Enroth

Calgary Flames: Miikka Kiprusoff-Henrik Karlsson

Carolina Hurricanes: Cam Ward-Brian Boucher

Chicago Blackhawks: Tim Thomas-Corey Crawford

Colorado Avalanche: Semyon Varlamov-J-S Giguere

Columbus Blue Jackets: Josh Harding-Steve Mason

Dallas Stars: Kari Lehtonen-Richard Bachman

Detroit Red Wings: Jimmy Howard-Joey MacDonald

Edmonton Oilers: Devan Dubnyk-Nikolai Khabibulin

Florida Panthers: Jose Theodore-Jacob Markstrom

Los Angeles Kings: Jonathan Quick-Al Montoya

Minnesota Wild: Niklas Backstrom-Scott Clemmensen

Montreal Canadiens: Carey Price-Peter Budaj

Nashville Predators: Pekka Rinne-Anders Lindback

New Jersey Devils: Martin Brodeur-Johan Hedberg

New York Islanders: Jonathan Bernier-Evgeni Nakobov (Rick Dipietro on the disabled list)

New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist-Martin Biron

Ottawa Senators: Craig Anderson-Ben Bishop

Philadelphia Flyers: Ilya Bryzgalov-Michael Leighton

Phoenix Coyotes: Mike Smith-Jason Labarbera

Pittsburgh Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury-Curtis Sanford

San Jose Sharks: Antti Niemi-Thomas Greiss

St. Louis Blues: Jaroslav Halak-Brian Elliott

Tampa Bay Lightning: Roberto Luongo-Mathieu Garon

Toronto Maple Leafs: Sergei Bobrovsky-James Reimer

Vancouver Canucks: Corey Schneider-Jonas Gustavsson

Washington Capitals: Braden Holtby-Michal Neuvirth

Winnipeg Jets: Ondrej Pavelec-Ray Emery

This will certainly make for a very interesting summer of speculation and surprises as there will be a lot of movement in front of the crease, starting July 1st, since goaltending has become a major component of successful Stanley Cup teams in recent years. The last four remaining Stanley Cup teams have been relying on top netminders in this year’s playoffs (Brodeur, Quick, Lundqvist and Smith); as a result, most teams that did not have a true #1 goalie this season will be ready to pay a steeper price in order to solidify the most important position in hockey.

Related The Hockey Writers articles:
Trading Thomas: Will the Bruins Deal the Veteran ‘Tender? by Bob Mand

10 Potential Tampa Bay Lightning Goaltenders for 2012-13 by Justin Godfrey


I’m looking forward to reading your comments and predictions regarding the above scenario.

Follow Fred Poulin on Twitter for all your 2012 NHL Draft prospect needs and get more information on the NHL.


42 thoughts on “The 2012 Summer Goalie Market”

  1. Funny how I inverted Sanford and Vokoun as the Penguins’ back-up and the goalie who flees to the KHL! Sanford has signed a one-year deal with Lokomotiv of the KHL, while Vokoun has signed a two-year deal with Pittsburgh after being traded there.

  2. Bobrovsky is two yrs younger than Khudobin; expect bob to be Russia’s 2014 goalie as Varlamov has weak glove.  Think Varlamov the better goalie maybe, but not against smartest players.

  3. …T.Thomas will be 39 next year.  Maybe better than Luongo this year, but not next.  Chicago’s philosophy was to go young.  It didn’t really work as the prospects weren’t great they traded for, but I’d guess they’ll keep going young.  Some teams only go with one goalie, some go with three or 4.
    I can see Edm giving Thomas a shot.  Boston would consider a 3rd goalie if they traded Thomas.
    Poulin looks better than Bernier, and Niederterer is a gem.  Nabokov is a suck.  Yes, I guess him as a tutor fits in with NYI…Bobrovsky is one of the best goalie assets in the game.  Unless his father is his agent he won’t be gifted away.

      • I didn’t predict nothing.  Y I liked this column and look at comment #s.  Teams don’t usually do what is rational with goaltending.  Washington took out a giant but easily lost the goaltending matchup:  Holtby against Lundqvist.  They should’ve traded for a G as soon as Vokoun went down (didn’t he get hurt?).    A Washington with big 3 intact shouldn’t have 22 yr old Holtby.  Toronto just missed playoffs last few years overplaying goalies with big contracts.  Chi with a keeper is a cup run and without isn’t in final four.  I’m assuming the reason Pittsburgh didn’t sweep to final is didn’t have a backup when Fleury sucked.  In Philly loss in 6, they finally did it right going down to 4th stringer Leighton.  No Pronger this yr.  The yr Chi won they wisely dumped $5M Huet in Minors.  I hate 3pt rule.  It means playing a soccer game gets you to playoffs whereas the Oilers teams lose by being exciting.  Reverse it so tie is penalized.  The three point rule is the only thing preventing NHL from recapturing 1980s scoring.  Who wouldn’t want to see Stamkos take a run at Hull’s single season goal total?
        I’m hoping Jets get Mason, Mason, Montoya, and Harding, and trade Pavelec for two 1st rounders.  Obviously goalies don’t want to be 4th stringers.

        • …Leighton himself was one of three Chi goalies, him, C.Anderson and someone else.  I would pick goalies willing to be in minors but don’t have personality stats; intangibles.  Goalies are head cases.  If Enroth was a little crappier, Buffalo would be okay.  But Miller had two goalies ahead of him; he wants to be #1.  The Wild platoon system worked, but you gotta figure trading one of them and something for a M.Koivu to play with Gabby was the right move (knowing now Gabby can be healthy).  Funny everyone saying Minnesota was best team in the league; they never add talent.
          Washington should’ve gone for it but have young assets.  There was a bar incident with E.Kane; Wpg and Ana won’t get Emery.  But he can fight players now that isn’t a #1 lock.

            • …With injuries to Crsoby and Toews, I think E.Kane is Canada’s 2nd biggest FW lock; those stone footed 1998 and 2006 teams sucked on international ice.  Which is good because I doubt Canada’s goalies will be in top 5.  Canada has lost goaltending edge.

    • Poulin better than Bernier? not on this planet. the way the Isles are run, they could ruin any goaltender. The books still out on Bobrovsky- again Philly isnt exactly the model on how to groom a goalie for stardom. Bob is most likely a backup, until he gets tired of it and heads to the KHL

  4. Good article.  NJ won’t go into next yr with 40 and 41 yr old goalies but maybe Hedberg would be #3.  Thought he would’ve won a Cup even without Bertuzzi but went with horrid prospect Auld.
    Bolland is almost as good an asset as Toews or Keith.  I’d love to see monster in Wpg but is not a good goalie.  Montoya puts up great stats.
    Switch the Bobrovsky and Bernier trades.  Bernier two yrs ago had great upside and you have Philly giving away a 23 yr old goalie for nothing.  Philly makes good trades; look at that rebuild on the fly.

  5. Well now that Yzerman has said they are not at all interested in Luongo this needs to be reevaluated. And why would the Leafs end up with Bob when they clearly need someone with a bit more experience?

      • So that means we shouldn’t believe anything you’ve written then? Saying there would be no takers for Kipprusoff is proof enough you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  6. The Thomas/Chicago angle is interesting and makes sense, except for Bolland. Quenneville loves him, and a condition of Quenneville staying (and not going to Montreal) is he gets the roster he wants this year. Put Frolik, Bickell or possibly even Jimmy Hayes in there and you might have smething. although I think the B’s would have to sweeten it to get Hayes.

    • I know Bolland is well liked in Windy City, but I need to match the salaries to make the trade happen as both teams are near the cap. I don’t think the Bruins will trade Thomas for underperforming players like Frolik and Bickell. 

  7. Great read Fred. Don’t see Bernier in Long Island at all though as I don’t think that Snow feels the need to add a guy with 48 games of experience when he can just recall K. Poulin or Anders Nilsson. KP and AN might need some more development, but I highly doubt Snow will trade away a third rounder and Niederreiter for a mostly unproven Bernier. We have two goalies in Bridgeport who are up and coming, no need to trade away assets, especially someone like Nino for another goalie.

    • Well I speculated on this one and I believe Bernier would do a great job with Naobokov as a mentor and he has learned a lot behind Quick and during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Poulin and Nilsson are unproven goaltenders and they need one more year of seasoning at least.

      • All great points, but if Snow’s track record has proven anything, it’s that he won’t deal a prospect to get a relative unknown back. With the problems on defense, Snow’s priority probably won’t be trading away assets to get something he is already stocked on.

        • Also, acquiring Bernier creates the same goaltending carousel that really hurt the Isles at the start of the 2011-2012 season when they had DP, Nabokov, and Montoya in net. The insurance for DP getting hurt is in Bridgeport. Trading away an asset like Nino and a third rounder to possibly have Bernier riding the pine behind Nabokov and a *healthy* DiPietro would do more harm than good in the long-term.

  8. based on the entire post-deadline season for the Flames, I think it’s pretty safe to say Karlsson is done.  If Leland Irving re-signs (and Kiprusoff isn’t traded), he’s the backup.  Irving may not have finished the season very well, what with constantly bouncing between the NHL and AHL, getting a new kid, and losing the Heat starting job to Danny Taylor, but the Flames CLEARLY preferred Irving to Karlsson down the stretch.

    • Well Karlsson is on a one-way contract next season so he will be the Flames’ back-up unless they trade him to make room for Irving who’s more like the next Trevor Kidd if you want my opinion.

  9. so, you figure Thomas will get a better return than Luongo?  (that’s the way i read it, anyway…and not sure I agree)

  10. Good stuff, had no idea that many guys were gonna be on the market.  For what it’s worth, the Panthers latest is that they might want Markstrom to spend one more year in the AHL, meaning Clemmensen could be back.  With an aging, increasingly fragile Theodore (although he had a solid season), having a couple options behind him makes sense. 

  11. Not sure if Toronto wants a younger goalie, I think they might try and bring in a more veteran goalie like Vokoun, only because the two younger goaltenders didn’t work for them this year, but still a good article. 

  12. Being a loyal Bruins fan, I can assure you they are not looking to take on another journeyman goaltender. They have Anton Khudobin coming back on a one-way deal, so you can bank on him being the No. 2 or even 1a. And while I agree wholeheartedly that Thomas will be traded (and I, too, think to the Blackhawks) Boston won’t be needing Emery. I wouldn’t mind seeing Bolland in a Black & Gold uniform, they’re too stacked with bottom-6 forwards; they’re priority is a top-line winger. 

    Interesting read though…nicely done and well thought-out. 

    • Well, you might be right about Khudobin, but I simply included Emery to balance the salaries and avoid a menage-a-trois in Chicago with Crawford and Thomas. 

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