According to the latest NHL trade rumors, Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer is likely on the move. Here are three teams who should trade for him.
The Stanley Cup is the hardest championship to win. It takes a grueling effort over the course of an eight-month period. Not only do you have to be one of the best eight teams in your conference from October to April, you have to beat four really good teams in the postseason to win the Stanley Cup. It can also be costly in some ways. The Washington Capitals are finding this out the hard way, as the latest NHL trade rumors have the Caps parting with backup goalie Philipp Grubauer.
Grubauer is a restricted free agent due for a fairly significant raise. He has done everything in his power over the past two seasons to prove he’s deserving of being a number one goalie. According to Corsica, among goalies with at least 2,000 five-on-five minutes over the past two seasons, Grubauer has the third highest goals saved above average (23.27) and has the same GSAA/30 rate as Sergei Bobrovsky.
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The Capitals are likely going to be up against the salary cap, especially if they re-sign defenseman John Carlson. Even if they don’t re-sign him, Grubauer’s value is at its peak. There’s not much he could possibly do to make it higher. It’s best to trade players when their value is peaking like Grubauer’s is.
First, let’s look at some dark horse teams who could trade for him. The Edmonton Oilers need someone to push and potentially replace Cam Talbot. Grubauer fits that bill, though do they want to be paying two goalies starting-caliber money?
The Buffalo Sabres like Linus Ullmark a lot, but Grubauer is more of a sure thing. They might see him as a stopgap, mentor to Ullmark, and a Plan B in case their goalie prospect doesn’t pan out.
The Calgary Flames would have to get creative to trade for Grubauer. They could certainly use him, but unlike the other teams on this list, they don’t have a 2018 first-round pick. There are ways around this, but it puts the Flames at a disadvantage.
Let’s take a look at the top three teams who should trade for him, ranking them from least likely to get him to most likely.