Good Luck Filling a Need at the Goaltender Position in Free Agency

Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

In 2022, it’s going to be hard to solidify the goaltending position in free agency.

The NHL’s free agency period is set to begin on July 13 as teams prepare for the 2022-2023 campaign. While there are plenty of high-profile skaters that are poised to hit the open market, the goalie situation is a bit different.

Every year, teams look to solidify their goaltending, as having at least one solid netminder is a necessary component of a Stanley Cup champion. For clubs looking to improve in that category through free agency this year, good luck.

With all of the goalie movement we saw last offseason, this year’s group was already going to be somewhat lackluster. Now that some of the more attractive names have been signed, this class is even more underwhelming.

It won’t be easy to find a goaltender in free agency.

Marc-Andre Fleury was the highest-profile name and most proven goaltender in need of a new contract this summer, but he and the Minnesota Wild have already reached an agreement.

Stanley Cup champion Braden Holtby could also become a free agent, but Frank Seravalli has reported that his career may come to an end due to an injury.

Ville Husso, who started at several points last season for the St. Louis Blues, was set to become a free agent, but he was dealt to the Detroit Red Wings. He signed a three-year deal to play in the Motor City and avoid free agency.

The fact that Husso and his 57 career games could have been one of the better starting goaltender options available this summer says a lot.

At this point, players like Darcy Kuemper and Jack Campbell are the most promising options on the market with other options feeling like tandem players at best.

Jake Oettinger could become a restricted free agent, but I would anticipate the Dallas Stars ensuring that he stays put after his playoff performance.

The bottom line is that teams like the Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals, who always seem to have rumored interest in a new goalie, will be hard-pressed to find a comfortable solution in free agency.

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One never knows exactly which players will hit the market and what teams are looking for in their signings, but for most of the teams trying to add a goalie, free agency will not be the place to do so.