Hey you, Red Wings fan on the internet. Ken Holland doesn’t care about what you think. You know this, already. How could you not? He hasn’t listened to you before.
That being said, signing a goalie on Saturday makes less than 0 sense, unless a trade is involved.
And yet, we’re still talking about the options because Ken Holland has a history of irrational moves.
If for whatever reason Ken Holland decides that the problem with the Red Wings is arguably their most stable position (which isn’t saying much), there’s a number of options they could, but not necessarily should consider.
In somewhat of an order, here are five options that may be signing with the Red Wings (but probably aren’t).
5. Anders Nilsson
AK BARS KAZAN
ST. LOUIS BLUES
Anders Nilsson is a decent goalie who’s never gotten a whole lot of ice time in the NHL.
He’s also played on some horrendous rosters, which is tough to quantify but often the case for why a goalie has a rough year. Then again, Buffalo’s defence this past year was arguably worse than Edmonton’s in 2015-16. Who really knows? Your model? My model? Dom Loosechicken’s? Cheryl Blossom’s? Idk, man.
But in a small sample size this past year and in the KHL, Nilsson looked real solid. He might be worth a flyer on for a cheap deal, as he won’t likely play too many games anyway.
Expiring contract: 1 year, 1-million AAV
4. Ryan Miller
Two aging American goalies? Why not? Drew Miller’s brother? Absolutely. The Sedins’ goalie over the past three years, Miller isn’t quite in his 2009-10 Vezina form, but provides respectable if not spectacular goaltending. He’s not going to be making quite what he made in Vancouver, but his name value might drive his cap hit up a little bit. I can’t see him getting anything other than a 1 or 2-year deal, with my mind leaning on the shorter side as he is turning 37 in less than three weeks.
Posting totals of .911, .916, and .914 in his three years as a Canuck, Miller isn’t anything much more than league average today, but he’s still probably better offensively than his brother Drew.
Expiring contract: 3 year, 6-million AAV.
3. Curtis McElhinney
A veteran of a lot of teams by now, McElhinney refound his game in Toronto and Columbus this past year. A .917 over 24 games this season, Mac Attack was #ActuallyGood in arguably his best year yet. He’s a little older at 34, but won’t command a serious dollar value at all and is happily able to play just about whenever you want him to. Last season may have been an outlier, it’s tough to judge, but he’s likely to be the cheapest option available with legitimate NHL experience and could free up some cap space for the Wings if they move a goalie.
Expiring contract: 2 year, 800k AAV.
2. Jonathan Bernier
Another dude who saw some time in Toronto is Jonathan Bernier. In Anaheim this past season, Bernier played 39 games and put up a very respectable .915 save percentage. I’m not sure if he’s the best goalie on the market, but he’s the one with the biggest pedigree that the Wings could maybe potentially sign because he’s not too expensive or too sought after.
He’d likely want to fight for a #1 job, however. I don’t think he’ll be in the mix for Detroit, but then again, stranger things have happened in RedWingLandHockeyPlaceTown.
Expiring contract: 2 year, $4.15M AAV.
1. No one
Cop out? The Wings have two NHL goalies already and they’ve committed a fair bit of money to them, as well. Why would you need another one? Signing one would be a horrendously dumb move unless there’s a very good trade involved. There’s a few other options available, but ranking them honestly doesn’t make much sense. Why would Ken Holland take any of these guys? Where would they even play? So many questions.
At the end of the day, the Red Wings likely have two NHL quality goalies on their roster, at least for now. Signing a UFA goalie would almost certainly mean Mrazek is on the outs, but it also doesn’t sound like there’s much of a market for him after he went unclaimed in the expansion draft.
Ball’s in your court, Ken Holland. Let’s make sure we don’t have to take it away.