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The few, the proud, the UFA goalies

Jun 19, 2012, 2:39 PM EST

Scott Clemmensen Getty Images

Yesterday, we compiled a list of pending UFA defensemen after Barret Jackman re-signed in St. Louis.

Today, in the wake of Josh Harding’s decision to stay in Minnesota, let’s look at the top goalies that could become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Scott Clemmensen – With all due respect, you know it’s a limited field when a 34-year-old that’s never started more than 39 games in a regular season is first on the list. Clemmensen went 14-6-6 with a .913 save percentage with the Panthers in 2011-12. His cap hit shouldn’t exceed $2 million, unless he’s got a fantastic agent.

Martin Biron – It was reported June 8 that the Rangers wanted to re-sign the 34-year-old to return as Henrik Lundqvist‘s back-up, but so far no deal has been reached. Biron’s numbers (12-6-2, .904 SV%) were far from fantastic in 2011-12, and he hasn’t been a regular starter since 2008-09 when he was in Philadelphia.

Jonas Gustavsson – “The Monster” is coming off a tough season in Toronto, but only three years ago Leafs GM Brian Burke was thrilled to sign the late bloomer out of Sweden. “Jonas is considered by many to be the best goaltender not playing in the NHL today,” said Burke. Since then, Gustavsson has gone 39-45-0 with a .900 save percentage.

Chris Mason – A 36-year-old that went 8-7-1 with a .898 SV% last season in Winnipeg. And yes, he’s fourth on our list.

Other UFAs include Dan Ellis, Johan Hedberg, and Al Montoya.

Of course, teams like Toronto and Columbus that are desperate for help in goal have other avenues to address their needs. There’s the trade route – Roberto Luongo is believed to be available, and maybe Niklas Backstrom can be had out of Minnesota now (Update: nope.). Alternatively, an aggressive offer sheet could be put in front of restricted free agents like Cory Schneider and Ondrej Pavelec. Or, they could be targeted by trade.

Oh, and almost forgot — Dominik Hasek.

  1. scottfmullin - Jun 19, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Clemmensen is a solid 1b kind of goaltender, and he stumbled upon a great year to be a UFA. Don’t expect him to be great in shootouts, however. It would be nice if the Panthers could ink him to a one-year deal and give Jacob Markstrom another year of seasoning.

  2. dolanster - Jun 19, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Turco!

  3. proudliberal85392 - Jun 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Heck, yes! Turco!

  4. canuckswino - Jun 19, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    And Gillis sits by the phone smiling…

  5. govtminion - Jun 19, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    It’s worth noting that Gustavsson also has had a few serious heart issues. Those would be what I’d be worried about more than the ‘meh’ stats.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 19, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      True. I’ve always liked Gustavsson, but between the health issues and inability to play consistently there’s no longer a place here for him. The Leafs need a veteran guy to come in and mentor Reimer for a few years.

      • govtminion - Jun 19, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        Ditto, I like the guy, I’ve been impressed with some of what he can do, but for his sake it might be good to quit while he’s ahead. He’s struggling to make it in Toronto, his health is very much in doubt… kind of concerning.

  6. dolanster - Jun 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bruins offer Hasek something like a $1M one-year deal. He’d be a great guy to have as a mentor to Rask and Khudobin. For Hasek it gives him the chance to sign onto a contender. I don’t think Detroit needs him, and I don’t think he’d want to end up in Buffalo or Ottawa. I’m not going to be surprised to see him in some NHL sweater this coming season (if there is one).

    • govtminion - Jun 19, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      Do you really think though that Rask needs any mentoring? He’s been there with Thomas for several years now, and he’s been the B’s starter already- even in a playoff run. I’m not sure bringing in Hasek- who hasn’t played in years- does anything to really help things along at all.

      • dolanster - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        Hasek’s been playing in Europe, last year for the top team in the KHL. If you sign him in Boston, you get an emergency guy in case Rask gets hurt (he’s got a history of injuries), and a guy who can mentor both Rask and Khudobin (who WILL be an NHL goalie as well). If I was Chiarelli I’d do it in a second. $1M would be a bargain, especially if you can get Thomas off the books with a move in July.

  7. jernster21 - Jun 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Is Clemmensen really 34? I thought he was just a kid when he was in NJ…. huh. On the plus side, he’s not pushing 40 like Tim Thomas.

  8. sportsfreak13 - Jun 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    You forgot Brent Johnson. Hes a UFA and while hes not a starter (most of the guys listed above shouldn’t be) hes coming off a injury riddled 2012 season and looking to bounce back.

    • jernster21 - Jun 19, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      He’s already a hall of famer for wrecking Rick “The Glass” DiPietro.

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