If you are caught up on CandC’s NHL trade deadline coverage thus far, skip below the cut line for part 4. The most recent post includes thoughts on the Viktor Stalberg trade on Tuesday. If you hare checking in just in time for the fireworks, here is a menu of Canes and Coffee’s NHL trade deadline coverage thus far:
Part 1: The for sale list with expected values (If early returns are an accurate indication, it probably makes sense to upgrade each estimated draft pick by 1 round.)
Part 2: Building the 2017-18 blue line (A bit controversial, as I think I am in the minority thinking Francis might need to add a veteran defenseman short-term.)
Part 3: Building the 2017-18 top 9 at forward (Recognizing that this need is most likely to be addressed during the summer, I still forged forward naming 3 potential big name scoring center targets for Tuesday’s trade deadline.)
Here are 4 player specific articles to check out:
And also 3 more trade deadline posts:
For the sake of thoroughness, part 4 of Canes and Coffee’s 2017 NHL trade deadline preview focuses on the goalie position.
Reasons for Ron Francis to wait until summer to address the Hurricanes goalie situation
I think this is the position least likely to be addressed at the 2017 trade deadline for 3 reasons:
1) Making a move in most cases would mean taking on a third goalie contract which is far from ideal since Lack is probably immovable right now after a lackluster and injury filled 2016-17 season.
2) For exactly that reason, I think Francis would rather give Lack a good amount of work down the stretch to both assess Lack’s viability as a backup for 2017-18 and possibly boost his trade value.
3) The market for goalies is likely to be vibrant and plentiful this summer (see below) with a number of free agents and also additional goalies who might become available before and after the expansion draft.
Available options that could make for a trade deadline surprise
But the counterargument is that we are rapidly approaching the expansion draft when any team with 2 goalies can only protect 1. Tampa Bay unloaded Ben Bishop yesterday. Rumors are swirling around Jaroslav Halak who has played well since being banished to the AHL. And with Matt Murray continuing to run as the #1 in Pittsburgh, Marc-Andre Fleury seems destined to depart at some point whether it is at the trade deadline or in the summer.
List of Hurricanes goalie options this summer
The couple interesting options available at the trade deadline will pale in comparison to a plethora of options this summer.
Goalies scheduled to become free agents this summer include Ben Bishop, Scott Darling, Ryan Miller, Brian Elliott, Chad Johnson, Peter Budaj, Steve Mason, Michal Neuvirth and Ondrej Pavelec.
Expansion draft options
In addition, teams that have 1 more goalie than they can protect should create other options either because the team with 2 goalies decides to trade 1 in advance of the expansion draft or because Las Vegas drafts and then deals a goalie or 2.
The list here includes the Penguins with Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray, the Capitals with Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer, the Red Wings with Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard, and the Senators with Craig Anderson and Mike Condon and the Panthers with Roberto Luongo and James Reimer.
When you add it up, the number of possible options to upgrade at the goalie position during the summer could number 15 or more. Because of that, I think by far and away the best bet is that Francis waits out his goalie situation past the trade deadline.