I'm not saying anything new here with the fact that our goaltending is not where it needs to be in order for us to be a serious, competitive team
There're plenty of fine netminders entering free agency, or have worn out the welcome or need to stay in their current situations.
2010 UFA: the easy options
3: Marty Turco, Dallas, current salary of $5,400,000: Still has a few years in him, and has proven himself as a good NHL starter. Shows up most nights, but has really overstayed in the eyes of Dallas fans. If he would take a little price cut from what he's used to, things could work out. Don't really see it happening, though.
2:Antero Niittymaki, Tampa Bay, current salary of $600,000: At 29 years old, Niitymaki has really only began to show himself as worthwhile recently. Having a real solid year splitting time with Smith, but have to worry about him being the next starter who should be a backup.
1. Jose Theodore, Washington, current salary or $4,500,000: Good to great goaltending from this guy, although playing behind a very skilled Capitals team. The 32-year-old veteran is currently their starter, but Varlamov is clearly the future of Washington goaltending.
That being said, the rest of the UFA pool is shallow to say the least.RFAs are pretty deep, though
2010 RFAs, a whole mess of backups
5.Jonas Gustavsson, Toronto, current salary of $810,000: this young swede (24) has been highly touted as the future of the Leafs franchise. Health issues cause worries, and inconsistent play could just be the pressure of Toronto, or it could be just that: inconsistency
4.Antti Niemi, Chicago, current salary of $827,000: Another backup on the list, but easily the best backup, maybe even having one of the best skill sets of the entire list. Classic backup woes cause him to slip down a few slots, but at 25, he still has a few (very few) years to learn.
3.Kari Lehtonen, Dallas, current salary of $3,000,000: if Dallas chooses to stick with Turco, then they'd have to drop Lehtonen. One of the better goaltenders across the board, and has proven himself as a starter at only 25 years of age. Big price tag on him and if the Blues really wanted him, they would have made the trade earlier this year
2.Carey Price, Montreal current salary of $850,000: This good young goalie (21) is that: young and good. Slipping up early in the year, he has taken his share of lumps under the volatile goaltending choices in Montreal. Losing his job to Halak, he still certainly has the ability to start, and succeed, elsewhere.
1.Jaroslav Halak, Montreal current salary of $800,000: The now starter of Montreal, he has kept the Canadiens in the playoff hunt down the stretch. The 24 year old slovak made his Olympic team this year, and has played solid hockey ever since winning the job from Price. Rebound control issues really cause some worry, but is one of the top netminders in the league right now.
Montreal pobably will leave one of the men on the table, but it's possible they'll try to keep them both. There are a few chances for trades around the league right now, but there's no certainty in their availability or price, but some fine choices anyway
3.Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Toronto, $7,000,000: Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe winning goalie, but comes with a massive price tag and waning skill set drops value.
2.Mike Smith, Tampa, $2,400,000 : if the Bolts keeps Niittymaki, there's no reason to keep Smith around. Worries over health shouldn't be too bad,and he's only 28. Overpriced, though.
1.Jonathan Bernier, Los Angeles: unable to find contract information, but this prospect is easily NHL level and might even be ready to start. The Kings don't need another goalie with Jon Quick (who is also really young). Probably the best option as far as any netminders are concerned.
Bernier would really look good in a Bluenote, and so would many of the other men on this list