Craig MacTavish has to find a goalie and chances are he’ll go with ‘expensive and proven’ as opposed to ‘Martin Jones’ during the summer procurement window. The list of possible goaltenders this year is pretty large, as wobbly G in Chicago and an emerging one in Detroit may mean the market is flush, plus a lot. There’s no earthly reason Edmonton should overpay for a goalie, which is different than saying they won’t overpay for a goalie.
- G Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota. A .935EV save percentage is incredible but he’s not coming here. I’d bet my house.
- G Craig Anderson, Ottawa. A .929EV save percentage would look glorious in Edmonton. Age and cap hit of $4.2M, UFA summer 2018 and he’ll be expensive to acquire.
- G Corey Crawford, Chicago. A .928EV save percentage and a big contract. ‘Hawks have Darling and Raanta and miles of cap issues.
- G Antti Niemi, San Jose. A .921EV save percentage and a 1983 birthday. Oilers have to give only money for him.
- G Jonathan Bernier, Toronto. A .921EV save percentage and an RFA summer.
- G Martin Jones, Los Angeles. A .921EV save percentage and a contract in the range of a CFL Quarterback. RFA. I love his future.
- G Frederik Andersen, Anaheim. A .919EV save percentage, $1.3M next season and then RFA. He’s a little wobbly but young.
- G Jimmy Howard, Detroit. A .918EV save percentage, $5.292M cap hit and he’s signed to 2019 summer. Petr Mrazek is rumored to be pushing him.
Most people would probably go with the proven guy in MacT’s spot, I think he’ll get a veteran coach and a veteran goaltender this summer. If he doesn’t get this right, there’s every chance we see another GM next summer. As with coach (I’d keep Nelson), for me Martin Jones is such a good option it’s crazy. Younger, inexpensive, good track record and if you succeed the problem is solved for years and years.
I think we could get San Jose’s coach (Todd McLellan) and goalie (Antti Niemi). If I were asked to bet on what we see this summer, that would be my guess in terms of problem solving. It isn’t a terrible option—Jimmy Howard or Corey Crawford win the award here, as they are expensive AND would cost a lot to acquire—but for me the fact Scrivens didn’t work out this year is a poor reason to abandon what MacT knows to be the better team building option.