Publish date:

Top 5 NHL Goalies Still on the UFA Market

It might seem like slim pickings, but there's still some veteran power that could be a nice addition to your NHL lineup.
Devan Dubnyk

Devan Dubnyk

The UFA goalie market definitely saw a huge boom on Wednesday.

Excluding Seattle, 18 of 31 teams have brought in a new goalie this off-season, highlighted by Petr Mrazek heading to Toronto, Linus Ullmark to Boston, Darcy Kuemper to Colorado via a trade and Braden Holtby to Dallas. 

That left the remaining options a little bit barren.

NHL teams have begun to realize they can't just rely on one guy handling most of the load anymore. Goalies need breaks, and having a reliable backup option is more important than ever. That's why teams were so aggressive early to address their crease concerns, but there are still some veterans available that might be able to provide some help in a backup capacity.

Here's a look at five of the top names left on the market:

Tuukka Rask, 34
We already know that Rask is expected to miss the first half of the season and the Bruins already brought in Linus Ullmark on a long-term deal. What does that mean for Rask? Rask made it clear he only wants to return to Boston, but if he feels healthy come wintertime, will the Bruins completely turn their back on him? Rask can still contribute and while it was a bit of a lost 2021 campaign for him compared to what he can usually do, if Rask can hold his end of the bargain once he returns, he could still be a starter in the NHL today. Problem is, by the time he's good to go, it'll be way too late for teams looking for a No. 1 guy. The timing isn't great, but if he still wants to play when he's healthy, there will be at least a few teams looking for his services.

Devan Dubnyk, 35
Dubnyk's stock has dropped off dramatically in the past few years. In 2018-19, Dubnyk recorded over 30 wins for the fifth time in his career, albeit in a bit of a step down from two really strong years before that. Dubnyk essentially lost the starting gig in 2019-20 after a rough regular season and was sent to San Jose last fall, but with a 3-9-2 record, he couldn't do anything to save that team. Dubnyk didn't look great in Colorado either, so is there still a market for the 35-year-old? On a team that doesn't need him for more than 20 starts, Dubnyk can still bring value, but after years of having to do the heavy lifting for the Wild and coming off a rough year overall, he'll want to go somewhere competitive. Don't count on him calling it quits yet.

Henrik Lundqvist, 39
It would be an absolute shame if the King's NHL career was forced to end due to a medical procedure. It's hard not to root for him to get one more shot because, while his final days in New York certainly weren't pretty, he wasn't completely washed up. The Capitals could always bring him back after his year with the club was derailed before it even began, but you have to imagine they feel comfortable enough with Vitek Vanecek back in the fold and another year under Ilya Samsonov's belt. Lundqvist hasn't been cleared by doctors yet, thus making him ineligible to sign a new contract, but it doesn't sound like he's ready to call it quits without another shot at a Stanley Cup to close out his Hockey Hall of Fame-worthy career.

Curtis McElhinney, 38
McElhinney made a name for himself as a reliable backup goaltender throughout the latter stages of his career, but his play took a dip as a 37-year-old and wasn't the ideal backup behind Andrei Vasilevskiy. Will he find a new home? There are definitely some teams that can use a veteran with his experience but there's a good chance it could require him as a third-goalie role in some markets. McElhinney can be good in flashes, but you'll like him best on a good defensive team that only needs 15-17 games max out of him. Problem is, many of those jobs dried up over the past few days, so we'll see.

Louis Domingue, 29
Domingue has hopped around to five NHL teams since 2018 and it looks like he'll be on the move again. Domingue only played in four games between Calgary's NHL and AHL teams but did see considerable NHL time in the three years prior. Domingue certainly isn't great, but his experience in the big show means he could be a good filler option if injuries arise, partly why most teams have brought him in the past. 

TOP HEADLINES

USATSI_16986579
Play

Which NHL Teams Should be Desperately Worried About Their Poor Starts?

We've only completed a week of the NHL season, but some teams are in dangerous positions early on. How should fans of Winnipeg, Montreal and Chicago feel right now, in particular?

Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid
Play

Pro Tip: Don't Give the Oilers Space on the Power Play

The Edmonton Oilers' power play has continued where it left off from last season, and there's a reason you should be afraid once 97 and 29 get the puck.

Univeral-stick-tag
Play

Player Tracking in Youth Hockey? The Future is Now

With sensor technology that maps every split-second of action in hockey games, a Vancouver-based tech company could change the way people evaluate players at the developmental level.