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Grading the Free Agents: Goalies

I grade this Summer's Free Agent Goalie signings

Brian Elliott
Brian Elliott
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

I looked at the Blues yesterday.  Today, I start on the rest of the league.   The Salary Cap means that dollars and goals are linked, so I'm going to include value in the grade.  I'm not going to look at the guys that signed to be AHL starters (sorry Mike McKenna!)  I already gave Elliott's deal an "A".

Chad Johnson 2 years $1.3m AAV Grade: A

Not a lot of data, but Johnson is 0.934 ES for his career. Should be a solid backup for Halak.

Thomas Greiss 1 year $1m AAV Grade: A

More shots faced than Johnson and 0.928 ES. He could be the starter before the season is over.

Jonas Hiller 2 years $4.5m AAV Grade: B+

A bit of an overpay in my book. 2 years is good. A nice upgrade over last year's group.

Jaroslav Halak 4 years $4.5m AAV Grade: B

Also a bit of an overpay, but Halak is a huge upgrade over last year's tandem. I obviously really like what the Islanders have done this Summer. I suppose the Hiller and Halak contracts reflect a need to overpay to get the player to the city.

Jason LaBarbera 1 year $750k Grade: B-

Good value for an average (0.921 ES) goalie. How many goalies does Anaheim need?

Ray Emery 1 year $1m Grade: C+

Emery is 0.919 ES the last 5 years, which means he's actually better than Mason.

Devan Dubnyk 1 year $800k Grade: C

About right for 0.916 ES. The Coyotes have to hope Smith stays healthy.

Al Montoya 2 years $1.05m AAV Grade: C

Montoya (0.916 ES) is better than Dan Ellis at this point.

Anders Lindback 1 year $925k AAV Grade: D

Lindback is 0.915 ES over the last 5 years. Not the worst goalie by any means but not good. Considering how fragile Lehtonen has been, I would have gone for one of the many better available options. I hate to put much stock in a 4 game sample, but he was brutal in the playoffs.

Justin Peters 2 years $950k AAV Grade: D

Even with a good 2013 season, Peters is 0.912 ES. 2 years?

Evgeni Nabokov 1 year $1.5m Grade: D-

While Nabokov is 0.920 ES the last 5 years, he started out at 0.928 and his trend has been steadily down hill. With Bishop coming off an injury, this seems like a big risk.

Ryan Miller 3 years $6m AAV Grade: F


Michael Hutchinson 2 years $600k AAV Grade: Incomplete

This is a head-scratcher. Hutchinson is 24. He played more games last year in the ECHL (28) than the AHL (24). 3 NHL games in his career. With Pavelec as the starter, this could turn out to be a great deal or it could go really, really badly.