MONTREAL – With the NHL’s free-agent market set to open in only a few days, teams around the league will prepare to bolster their lineups with the forwards, defensemen and goaltenders that are up for grabs. When it comes to goalies, like every year, there's a lot to choose from.
Around twenty netminders that took part in the 2010-11 season will very likely find themselves seeking a new home come July 1st. With salaries starting at $500,000 and stretching all the way to $6,000,000 and ages ranging from 27 to 41 years old, chances are that teams in need will find something that fits the bill from the available goalies offering their services.
Players’ agents will be hard at work doing everything in their power to hammer out the best deal for their client when the time comes. A total of 17 of the league’s 30 teams list themselves as “Complete” between the pipes. That means the 13 others will be on the lookout for a goaltender – some even two – as will be the case for the Lightning as both Mike Smith and Dwayne Roloson will see their contracts with Tampa Bay come to an end.
One masked-man sure to spark some interest in the market will be Tomas Vokoun, a member of the Florida Panthers’ organization since 2008-09. After a tough recent campaign, the 34-year-old Czech will be looking to bounce back and breathe some new life into his career.
A few other big names the likes of Jean-Sébastien Giguère (Leafs), Pascal Leclaire (Senators), Ray Emery (Ducks) and José Théodore (Wild) will also be creating a buzz among deal-makers, as should younger goaltender Josh Harding (Wild) and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (Oilers), both 27 years of age.
The Habs will also be among the teams on the hunt as they seek out a backup to Carey Price
– that is of course, if Alex Auld hasn’t signed a new contract with Montreal before July 1st.Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Justin Fragapane.SEE ALSOSeven players receive qualifying offers Draftology 101 Day 2 Recap Welcome to the family! Back where he belongs