On Monday afternoon, the Detroit Red Wings announced the signing of Slovakian goaltender Patrik Rybar to a one-year entry-level contract.
The 24-year-old goaltender has played in the top tier of the Czech league with Hradec Kralove for the last two years. This season, he played in 36 games and posted a .932 sv%, including 7 shutouts. That save percentage was the second-best among all goaltenders in the league, just behind the .933 sv% of Patrik Bartošák.
Rybar was also one of the goaltenders for the Slovakian national team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Unfortunately, he never saw any ice-time during the tournament.
Since he is only 24, the signing of Rybar could be seen as one for the future of the Detroit Red Wings. A potentially good signing that costs pretty much nothing, is the kind of move that the Wings should be looking for as they start this long rebuilding process.
Especially that Ken Holland has already stated that they will not be re-signing Jared Coreau, and Tom McCullom is a pending UFA, there can potentially be three open goaltending spots among both the Red Wings and the Grand Rapids Griffins.
I will assume that Rybar will be starting out in Grand Rapids and Holland will be looking for a goalie with more NHL experience to backup Jimmy Howard, but you never know what a successful training camp could lead to.
Good European numbers, cheap, and no risk at all. Similar to the strategy that has been previously suggested.