logo

Looking at the goalie market ahead of the NHL trade deadline

alt
Photo credit:© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
baggedmilk
10 months ago
Over at Daily Faceoff, Frank Seravalli put together a list of goalies that could potentially move ahead of the March 21st trade deadline and what the cost of acquisition may be for each of them. Seeing as the Oilers are in obvious need of some help between the pipes, I thought I would jump in with a look at the list and offer my own takes on whether they may be a fit or not.

THE LIST…

Failed to load video.

Before we get started, I already know that some of these guys probably wouldn’t be on the Oilers’ radar regardless of their need for goaltending, but I’m including them anyway because I liked Frank’s breakdown and it’s always fun to find out a little bit of what’s going on behind the scenes.
Marc-Andre Fleury
Chicago Blackhawks
Acquisition Cost: High
Scoop: Fleury has set himself apart as the premier goaltender available. He is the only guaranteed difference maker that could be on the move ahead of the trade deadline, which is why the acquisition cost is high. The Blackhawks are thinking first-round pick is appropriate. The complicating factor is ‘Flower’ holds all the cards. He has not only a 10-team “no-trade” list, but a reported handshake agreement with the Blackhawks that they’ll send him to a desired location. There is no question Fleury wants to win and chase a Cup.
It’s not going to happen so I almost wish we’d stop talking about it. No way, no how. Just forget about it.
42GP: 18-20-4 with a .908 save%, a 2.92 GAA, and 4 shutouts
Alexandar Georgiev
New York Rangers
Acquisition Cost: High
Scoop: The Rangers have been making calls in an attempt to move Georgiev, provided GM Chris Drury can find another veteran that he’d be comfortable with as an insurance policy on Hart Trophy candidate Igor Shesterkin. There is almost no path to Georgiev being a Ranger next season. Georgiev was a staple on the Trade Target board last summer after placing what we’d call a ‘soft’ trade request with the Rangers. He let the team be known he was open to a change of scenery, ready for a starter’s workload elsewhere. He’s not wrong: Over five NHL seasons, Georgiev has a career save percentage of .910. The league average is .904 this season.
A lot of Oilers fans really like Georgiev and I can certainly understand why based on his age and prior success, but I don’t know that Edmonton would be willing to part with what it takes to make this move work. Based on Frank’s info, the cost for Georgiev would be high and it doesn’t really seem like they’re in much of a rush to move him. Not to mention, this year’s stats aren’t exactly inspiring from the 26-year-old netminder.
22GP: 7-9-2 with a .893 save%, a 3.15 GAA, and no shutouts.
Mackenzie Blackwood
New Jersey Devils
Acquisition Cost: High
Scoop: Two years ago, Blackwood appeared to be on a trajectory similar to that of Igor Shesterkin, his Rangers counterpart across the Hudson River. Blackwood could have carried the torch for Martin Brodeur in an organization that’s been blessed in net. Now, there are significant question marks about Blackwood’s game and his long-term future in New Jersey as the Devils explore all their options. Blackwood is a couple of weeks away from working his way back to the lineup after a left heel injury. He may be ready to go before the trade deadline. The Devils are in the process of asking themselves: When healthy, what are the odds Blackwood’s game rebounds to the level we saw a couple of years ago?
Blackwood is an intriguing option to see on the list because I wouldn’t have expected him to be potentially available after posting a .918 and .915 save% in his first two seasons with the Devils. Now, after a couple of disappointing campaigns in New Jersey, the 25-year-old may be in line for a fresh start, but I don’t know that a potential reclamation project with upside is what the Oilers necessarily need at the moment.
23GP: 9-9-0 with a .894 save%, 3.29 GAA, and 2 shutouts.
Joonas Korpisalo
Columbus Blue Jackets
Acquisition Cost: Medium
Scoop: It’s difficult to envision the Blue Jackets allowing Korpisalo’s contract to expire without at least getting something for him in a season in which they’re not going to make the playoffs. Because it’s the Elvis Merzlikins Show in Columbus, now and for the foreseeable future. Merzlikins has carried the Blue Jackets and next year begins a fresh five-year, $27-million deal. Plus, the Blue Jackets have Daniil Tarasov ready to step in as Merzlikins’ backup next year. Korpisalo has not put in a formal trade request, but GM Jarmo Kekalainen is aware that Korpisalo would be open to an opportunity to play elsewhere. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a non-playoff team step up to get him prior to the deadline to get ahead of the market.
Is this even an upgrade over what we’ve already got? Neeeeext.
18GP: 6-8-0 with a .887 save%, a 3.82 GAA, and no shutouts.
Braden Holtby
Dallas Stars
Acquisition Cost: Medium
Scoop: Fresh off a spell in which Jake Oettinger stopped 181 of 189 shots faced (.958 save percentage) over six games, there is no question as to who the present and future is in the Dallas crease. The Stars could trade Holtby, call up Anton Khudobin from AHL Texas and barely impact their playoff chances – even for a team that wants to give itself every opportunity to get in. With a number of teams searching for goaltending support, Holtby has won a Stanley Cup and found his form again this season in Dallas.
This is a trade I can honestly see going through because of not only how Holtby is playing this year but also because of his UFA status that’s coming in the summer. Right now, I don’t know that the Oilers have the cap space or trade assets available to get a long-term solution done in net, but bringing in a guy like Holtby couldn’t certainly provide a stopgap option that would be an upgrade on what they’ve already got. By no means am I suggesting that Holtby will be The Answer by any stretch provided that he was actually acquired, but if I was putting money on any goalie trade happening, I think this would be the one.
24GP: 10-10-1 with a .913 save%, a 2.78 GAA, and no shutouts
Anton Forsberg
Ottawa Senators
Acquisition Cost: Medium
Scoop: A number of teams are interested in Forsberg’s services as a relatively inexpensive deadline option in net. Forsberg has quietly put together an excellent season. He has a winning record (12-10-2) on the 26th-place team with a .921 save percentage, well above league average. Murray’s re-emergence since returning from AHL Belleville, sporting a .918 mark since Jan. 13, should provide enough confidence that the two-time Cup winner and 23-year-old Filip Gustavsson can get the job done in tandem next season.
If there was a second pick on this list of guys I think could legitimately end up with the Oilers, it would be Anton Forsberg. Not only is he having a solid season with the Senators, but he was also a guy that Ken Holland has already signed for this hockey team. If you remember, Forsberg was signed ahead of the all-Canadian season but was lost on waivers when the team tried to sneak him through ahead of the season opener. Could Ken Holland make a deal to get the band back together?
27GP: 12-10-2 with a .921 save%, a 2.69 GAA, and one shutout.
Charlie Lindgren
St. Louis Blues
Acquisition Cost: Low
Scoop: There hasn’t been much talk about Lindgren, but he might be the best No. 3 available prior to the deadline. Sources say the Blues, who are in Cup contender mode, aren’t willing to move Ville Husso. They are perfectly prepared to let him walk for nothing in free agency this summer. With Husso and Jordan Binnington locking up the position, would the Blues entertain an offer on Lindgren? In five games this season, Lindgren is 5-0-0 with a sparkling .958 save percentage. If all hell were to break loose, with injuries to Husso and Binnington, the Blues could still turn to top goalie prospect Joel Hofer, who also saw NHL action this season.
Charlie Lindgren is an interesting name to have on the list as a potential goalie option even though there’s absolutely no chance that he would be the guy that comes in and turns things around. That said, Lindgren has posted a respectable .913 save% through his first 28 NHL games and those numbers are encouraging for a tweener type of guy that’s trying to make the leap to the NHL level. By no means do I think Lindgren is a guy the Oilers are looking at, but I do think he’s got a bright future ahead of him if he can keep this level of production up.
5GP: 5-0-0 to go with a .958 save%, a 1.22 GAA, and no shutouts.

THE WRAP…

As I said off the jump, I really don’t expect the Oilers to make a deal for a goaltender before the March 21st trade deadline, but I thought it would be interesting to walk through some of the options that are reportedly available. That said, I fully admit that I don’t know anything about anything so I reached out to Frank Seravalli to see how likely it would be that any of these guys could end up as Oilers before the deadline and he replied with “probably pretty unlikely, only because the Oilers have had almost all of these guys at their avail for weeks – if not months – now and have not pulled the trigger.” So no new goalie then? Good times, dear Internet friends. Good times.

BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER

On this week’s podcast, I walked through some of the latest Oilers rumours that are circling ahead of the trade deadline, what they need to do to make the playoffs, and offer my reasons on why being a fan of this franchise is the most stressful thing you can choose to do. Subscribe on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts. 

Check out these posts...