There shouldn’t be that much debate about the 2021 NHL free agent goalkeepers, but you never know. With the shortened season and the focus on as many goalkeepers as possible, the salary expectations are softened. Also, think about how the pandemic and flat cap (over the next two seasons) will affect business too.
When you look at some of these free agents, you feel old. The quality in this class are mostly senior goalkeepers who could be argued to be past or well past their prime. Let’s take a look at what executives are under the hockey Christmas tree this summer.
NHL Unrestricted Free Agent Goalkeeper
5. Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators)
Rinne presents himself as a fascinating case because he could honestly retire. Juuse Saros will likely be the starter in Nashville. Does Rinne take even less money for a one-year contract?
One has to wonder if last year’s season was a coincidence. At the beginning of 2021, Rinne experienced rocky times again. With three starts, the savings percentage is less than 0.900. It’s early now. In 35 games last season this saving was 0.895. In addition, the above-average saved goals approached -15.
Rinne, which is believed to have finished just five years ago, could be “father time” again after this season.
4. Philipp Grubauer (Colorado Avalanche)
Because of that one question, it’s going to be a hotly contested off-season for free agents. Do the Colorado Avalanche feel that they have the right goalkeeper in Grubauer? His pre-season performance was impressive. Grubauer won six of his eight starts with a goal against the average of 1.75 and a safe percentage of 0.930.
He’s already had two expulsions and has kept Colorado afloat despite all injuries. The biggest test now comes with Nathan MacKinnon, who is on the road for at least a week or two. If he can continue that run and Colorado doesn’t renew it soon, that price will continue to rise among goalkeepers this summer.
3. Frederik Andersen (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Now is the time for the goalkeeper to show everyone. Is he still that guy? The North Division (all Canadians) is unlikely to be too good for a goalkeeper’s safe percentage. Unfortunately, Andersen had problems early on and that led to further questions. After two above average seasons, Andere fell to average last year.
Worse still, he has only made three quality starts (37.5%) this season. Who pays a goalkeeper in their early 30s if they don’t win more than just games? Toronto could easily choose to get younger after this season and it would surprise few people. Come on this summer, will Kyle Dubas be tempted enough by what’s out there? Right now it could be. Consistent goalkeepers are hard to find.
2. Jordan Binnington (St. Louis Blues)
What would the thought process in St. Louis look like now? Binnington won a Stanley Cup in St. Louis, but that seems more like a memory. He had a pretty solid season last year with 30 wins in 50 starts. That came with some respectable numbers. In the first half of 2021, Binnington is in a hot phase with six wins in eight starts.
The goalkeeper will be 28 years old this summer. Will the goalkeeper get one of those huge long-term deals? Understand that the flat cap will last for at least a season, maybe two. He showed up two years ago and seems to be back in shape. Will the blues have the place for the cap?
That answer seems to be yes. It will take some maneuvers. Binnington will be in great demand when St. Louis can’t pay him.
1. Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins)
Rask got his huge deal and got off it last year. The Boston goalkeeper expects the top 300 victories in a short time. Last season he experienced another career year – he led the league with above-average saved goals (22.51) and adjusted goals against the average (2.25). The question arises. What kind of contract do you give to a goalkeeper who will turn 34 next month?
Is it a guarantee Boston will pay Rask $ 7 million or more? Most think this is a foregone conclusion, but frankly it is not. Due to the pandemic, Boston has its own salary cap. Will Jeremy Jacobs Break The Piggy Bank A Little? With Jaroslav Halak, who is also an unreserved free agent and has no real prospects on the horizon, Boston may have no choice.