Skip to main content
free agency

Top free agent goalies: Brian Elliott set to hit market

Ryan Miller, Steve Mason, Antti Niemi also among those expected to be available July 1

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

With free agency set to begin July 1, there are several teams in need of a starting goalie and a number of them in the market for a backup.

Several of those expected to be available, including Brian Elliott, Ryan Miller and Steve Mason, have proven track records as starting goalies, and another, Antti Niemi, has won the Stanley Cup.

 

[RELATED: Top free-agent defensemen | Top free-agent wings | Top free-agent centers]

 

NHL.com takes a closer look at the top unrestricted free agent goalies expected to be available when the market opens July 1:

 

Brian Elliott, CGY

Elliott, 32, was 26-18-3 with a 2.55 goals-against average, a .910 save percentage and two shutouts in 49 games (45 starts) with the Calgary Flames this season. He recovered nicely after starting the season 3-9-1 with an .886 save percentage in his first 14 games, including tying a Flames record with 11 straight wins from Feb. 21-March 19. He was traded to the Flames on June 24, 2016 after playing five seasons with the St. Louis Blues, including three with 23 or more wins. He likely will be targeted by the Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks, teams who have backups signed but not a No. 1.

He was selected for the NHL All-Star Game twice (2012, 2015) and won the William M. Jennings Trophy in 2012 after helping the Blues allow the fewest goals in the League in 2011-12, the same season he led the League with a 1.56 GAA and .940 save percentage. Elliott was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the ninth round (No. 291) of the 2003 NHL Draft and has a 191-117-35 record with a 2.42 GAA, a .913 save percentage and 36 shutouts in 372 games (339 starts) with the Flames, Blues, Senators and Colorado Avalanche. He's 15-22 in 41 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Possible landing spots: Flyers, Canucks, Winnipeg Jets

Video: CGY@ANA, Gm1: Elliott stones Silfverberg in front

 

Steve Mason, PHI

Mason, who has spent the past five seasons with the Flyers, has started at least 53 games in three of the past four seasons and has made at least 45 starts in each of his eight 82-game seasons. He was 26-21-8 with a 2.66 GAA, .908 save percentage and three shutouts in 58 games (54 starts) this season. His 104 wins are third all-time on the Flyers, behind Ron Hextall (240) and Bernie Parent (232).

He was traded to the Flyers by the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 3, 2013. Selected by the Blue Jackets in the third round (No. 69) of the 2006 NHL Draft, he went 33-20-7 with a 2.29 GAA, .916 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 2008-09 to win the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie and was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team.

In 463 games (446 starts), Mason, 29, is 200-177-63 with a 2.68 GAA, a .911 save percentage and 33 shutouts with the Flyers and Blue Jackets. He is 2-9 in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games (11 starts).

Possible landing spots: Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators, Canucks, Jets

Video: PHI@NJD: Mason robs Noesen at the goal line

 

Ryan Miller, VAN

Miller, who turns 37 on July 17, was 18-29-6 with a 2.80 goals-against average, a .914 save percentage and three shutouts in 54 games with the Canucks this season. His 358 wins are 19th in NHL history, and he has a 2.61 GAA, a .915 save percentage and 39 shutouts in 709 games (701 starts) with the Canucks, Blues and Buffalo Sabres. If he doesn't remain with the Canucks, there are a number of teams that would be interested in the veteran.

He was selected by the Sabres in the fifth round (No. 138) of the 1999 NHL Draft and spent his first 11 NHL seasons with them before being traded to the Blues on Feb. 28, 2014. Miller won the Vezina Trophy and was named to the NHL First All-Star Team for 2009-10, when he was 41-18-8 with a 2.22 GAA, a .929 save percentage and five shutouts.

Possible landing spots: Canucks, Flyers, Senators, Anaheim Ducks

Video: EDM@VAN: Miller swallows up McDavid's backhander

 

Antti Niemi, DAL

Niemi, 33, who had one year remaining on his contract, was bought out by the Dallas Stars on Tuesday and will become an unrestricted free agent. He was 12-12-4 with a 3.30 GAA and an .892 save percentage in 37 games (30 starts) this season.

He had seven straight seasons of at least 24 wins, including four-30-plus win seasons from 2009-16. Niemi helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2010 when he went 16-6 with a 2.63 GAA, .910 save percentage and two shutouts in 22 playoff games.

Signed by the Blackhawks in 2008, Niemi is 227-125-51 with 35 shutouts in 423 games (406 starts) with the Blackhawks, Stars and San Jose Sharks, and is 36-29 in 67 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Possible landing spots: New York Rangers, Flyers, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings

Video: NYI@DAL: Niemi kicks out pad to deny a redirect

 

Jonathan Bernier, ANA

Bernier, 28, showed he's capable of handling a heavy workload. He went 11-0-2 with a .932 save percentage in 13 games between March 7 and April 9 when John Gibson was injured. Bernier finished 21-7-4 with a 2.50 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and two shutouts in 39 games (33 starts) for the Ducks. He played four games in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, going 1-2 with a 3.28 GAA and .873 save percentage.

In nine seasons with the Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Kings, Bernier is 109-95-27 with 14 shutouts in 252 games (227 starts). He was selected by the Kings with the 11th pick of the 2006 NHL Draft.

Possible landing spots: Ducks, Penguins, Jets, Maple Leafs, Rangers

Video: ANA@NSH, Gm6: Bernier stones Fiddler's backhander

 

Chad Johnson, ARI

Johnson, 31, was 18-15-1 with a 2.59 goals-against average, a .910 save percentage and three shutouts in 36 games, all starts, for the Flames this season. He has played for six teams in seven NHL seasons and is 68-45-12 with a 2.44 GAA, a .915 save percentage and seven shutouts in 137 games (124 starts) with the Flames, Rangers, Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and Sabres.

He was traded to the Coyotes for Mike Smith on June 17, and could serve as the backup to Antti Raanta if he signs with them. Otherwise he'll be one of the better backups available.

Johnson was selected by the Penguins in the fifth round (No. 125) of the 2006 NHL Draft.

Possible landing spots: Coyotes, Flames, Ducks, Penguins, Edmonton Oilers

Video: ANA@CGY, Gm4: Johnson turns aside barrage of shots

 

Ondrej Pavelec, WPG

 Pavelec, who turns 30 on Aug. 31, was 4-4-0 with a 3.55 goals-against average and .888 save percentage in eight games with the Jets this season. He spent most of 2016-17 with Manitoba of the American Hockey League, going 8-7-2 with a 2.78 GAA, a .917 save percentage and two shutouts in 18 games.

Selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the second round (No. 41) of the 2005 NHL Draft, Pavelec has spent his entire NHL career with the Thrashers/Jets franchise and is 152-158-47 with a 2.87 GAA, .907 save percentage and 17 shutouts in 379 games (362 starts). He is the franchise leader in wins and shutouts.

Possible landing spots: Maple Leafs, Minnesota Wild, Sabres

Video: WPG@COL: Pavelec flashes the leather on Duchene

 

Jhonas Enroth, ANA

 Enroth, 29, didn't play a game for the Ducks this season after being traded there by the Maple Leafs on Jan. 11, but was 16-5-0 with a 1.91 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in 21 games with San Diego and Toronto of the American Hockey League.

He was 0-3-1 with a 3.94 goals-against average and .872 save percentage in six games with the Maple Leafs last season.

In eight seasons with the Ducks, Maple Leafs, Kings, Stars and Sabres, Enroth is 50-69-16 with seven shutouts in 153 games (132 starts).

Possible landing spots: Ducks, Sabres, Flames

Video: TOR@NJD: Enroth stones Parenteau's backhand shot

View More