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There are a number of intriguing possibilities, including UFAs Anton Khubodin, Thomas Greiss and Braden Holtby, as well as RFAs Matt Murray and Alexandar Georgiev. They are all good NHL goalies, or could be good, and also might be affordable for the Oilers, a key consideration. Strong NHL goalies like Robin Lehner, Tuukka Rask and Jacob Markstrom are likely to pricey for Edmonton to afford.
Georgiev played 34 games for the Rangers last year and posted a decent .910 save percentage, not bad for a second year NHL goalie. The Rangers would like to keep him, I’d guess, but they also have 24-year-old ace Igor Sheskterkin and Henrik Lundqvist has one more year on his deal. I wonder if a Georgiev for Jesse Puljujarvi trade might make sense?
In Dallas, Khubodin, 34, a late-blooming NHLer who had been solid three season in a row, has seized the starter’s job in the playoffs from Ben Bishop, 32, but Bishop has three more years on his deal that pays $4.9 million per year and he also had a .920 save percentage this year. Bishop would seem solid there. To get paid more, Khubodin will almost certainly have to move on.
The situation is similar in New York, where Semyon Varlamov is ahead of Thomas Greiss. Varlamov has the long-term deal and he’s also the starter in the playoffs. But Greiss has been a consistently good NHL goalie four out of the last five seasons, and may look for more opportunity and money away from the Islanders.
Two Stanley Cup-winning goalies are also possibilities, Braden Holtby and Matt Murray. Both look like they’re more of the past than the future with their current teams, with hot shots Ilya Samsonov in Washington and Tristan Jarry in Pittsburgh outplaying them. With an expansion draft coming up, it’s also the case that Washington and Pittsburgh will be able to protect only one goalie, not two. Perhaps it might be wise for Pittsburgh to see what it can now get for Murray, an idea that’s being floated in the Pittsburgh media.