Top five UFA goalies: Will Grubauer stay with Avs or help new team?

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer looks on during a timeout against the Arizona Coyotes in the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, March 29, 2019, in Denver. (David Zalubowski/AP)

We’ve already seen some goalie movement early this off-season and there’s plenty more right around the corner.

Chris Driedger was signed and selected by the Seattle Kraken, Mike Smith re-upped with the Edmonton Oilers, while Steve Yzerman and his Detroit Red Wings acquired the promising Alex Nedeljkovic from the Carolina Hurricanes.

There aren’t necessarily any A-list netminders available this summer, but here are five that teams will be eyeing.

Philipp Grubauer
The German is the clear top netminder set to hit the open market after going 30-9-1 with the Colorado Avalanche this past season. Among goalies with at least 25 appearances, his .922 save percentage ranked sixth, his seven shutouts were tied for first and his 1.95 goals-against average was best in the entire league.

The 29-year-old is coming off a three-year, $10-million deal and should garner a relatively substantial raise from the $3.333-million annual salary cap hit. Grubauer finished third in Vezina Trophy voting behind Andrei Vasilevskiy and winner Marc-Andre Fleury.

Petr Mrazek
The 29-year-old’s 2020-21 campaign was marred with injuries, however he fared rather well when he did see action. Mrazek went 6-2-3 with a .923 save percentage, 2.06 GAA and three shutouts. He suited up for two playoff games against the eventual Cup winners, stopping 35 of 37 shots in an overtime win in one game then getting lit up for six goals in the other.

Mrazek has finished above .500 in all but one of his full seasons since 2014-15 but hasn’t started more than 40 games in a season in five years. He’s coming off a two-year deal he signed as a free agent in 2019 that saw him earn an AAV of $3.125 million and could be a cost-effective, high-upside addition.

Frederik Andersen
Andersen signed a five-year, $25-million deal with the Maple Leafs back in 2016 after being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks. In his five seasons with Toronto he posted a 149-74-36 record but 2020-21 was his worst statistical season, posting career lows in games played (24), wins (13), .895 save percentage and a career-high 2.96 GAA.

The 31-year-old dealt with lower-body injuries for much of the season, lost six of his last seven starts and was supplanted by Jack Campbell as the team’s starting netminder.

Jonathan Bernier
There weren’t many bright spots on the 19-27-10 Detroit Red Wings last season. Bernier was one of them, though. The 32-year-old went 9-11-1 with a .914 save percentage and a 2.99 GAA. Any team looking for an experienced 1B type goalie or a quality backup might be well served to give Bernier’s agent a call. Bernier hasn’t made more than $3 million per season since 2016-17 and would be a relatively inexpensive option for a franchise needing help between the pipes. His rights were traded to the Carolina Hurricanes with Alex Nedeljkovic going back the other way.

Tuukka Rask
Rask has injury concerns heading into next season (the start of his next season is expected to be delayed a few months) and how he responds to off-season hip surgery could determine the type of offer he gets from the Boston Bruins – or any other team for that matter. The 34-year-old has stated he doesn’t wish to play for another team. Each of his 560 NHL regular-season and 104 post-season games have been played in a Bruins uniform.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney said in his pre-draft media availability he has “had great communication with Tuukka throughout the year and the end of the year and really just allowing the medical stuff to be at the forefront.”

Rask went 15-5-2 with a .913 save percentage and 2.28 GAA in 2020-21 and performed admirably while battling through his hip injury in the playoffs, posting a 6-4 record, .919 save percentage and 2.36 GAA.

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