Sunday, July 3, 2011

Goalie Signings of the 2011 Free Agency, Day 1

Mark Dekanich (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Here is a list of all the goalie signings on the first day of becoming free agents along with my reactions to their signings.  These were done in the order the transactions occur so some of my writing and opinions may be reflected in later contracts that were signed.  Also if you click on each goalies name there is a link to the respective team’s press release or more info about the contract. (Note I did not have an internet connection on July 1-2 and was not able to post this until today, but this was written on July 1st)
Josh HardingRe-signs with Wild 1yr $750,000.  He’s only played for Minnesota.  They know him best and he is getting another shot after missing a full year due to injury that occurred in the preseason.
Mathieu Garon2yrs $1.3 million a year with Tampa. His former team was Columbus Blue Jackets.  Solid goalie that can get hot and will play well when called upon by Tampa….another good move by Yzerman…Mike Smith’s day are done in Tampa.
Jose Theodore2yrs $1.5 million a year with Florida, former team Minnesota Wild.  Don’t know why people keep saying he is signed as a backup…he is going to compete with Clemmensen for starts and he played well enough the last two years to be a number one again.  Even though I am a big fan of Clemmensen’s I see Theodore becoming the starter based on experience and skill level.
Mike Smith- Phoenix 2 yrs $4 million, former team Tampa.  Not sure about this one….he was cast off last year by Tampa…He will get a chance to be the starter, but I’m not sure if Smitty or Barbs (Jason LaBarbera) will be able to take over or replace Bryz.
Semyon VarlamovTraded to Colorado for 1st and 2nd round pick. Then signed to a 3yr $8.5 million contract. His former team is Washington. This diva got the money he wanted and got to stay in the NHL, and Colorado extremely overpaid….let’s see if he can perform a full season without injury.
Brian Boucher 2yrs $1.9 million with Carolina. His former team was Philadelphia.  I guess good move for them to have a veteran backup behind Cam Ward…will be able to give him more time off then Justin Peters did…looks like it’s back to the AHL for him…unfortunate because I don’t think he was not given an opportunity to gain experience and not sure if any team is willing to sign Peters to a one way deal.
Peter Budaj2yrs $1.1 and $1.2 million with Montreal, his former team was Colorado. Don’t think it was worth it for Montreal…could have got something similar with more experience and reliability….and not worth it for Budaj…not sure if he can handle the pressure cooker city and might hurt his career to become a starter even more…
Johan HedbergRe-signs with Devils for 1yr $1.25 million.  Good for Moose gets to be where he wants to and family will join him this year…he’s reliable and will continue to perform well for NJ….as a Devils fans I think it’s a bad move, even if I really like Hedberg…my friend put it  pretty well that they will have “two grandpa’s in net” again this season….and both Moose and Marty (Brodeur) could retire after this season, Marty claims he is not signing another contract….we’ll see.  The Devils could end up in a bad spot the next few seasons with no experienced goalie in net or will have to pay a high price for an available goalie…I’m thinking Jonathan Bernier or Cory Schneider.
Alex Auld1yr $1 Million with Ottawa, former team was Montreal. Ok singing I guess for Ottawa….he’s been there before and is back again to backup…should be able to fill in admirably for them, when needed…I’m wondering what powers will come from Auld’s and Anderson’s combined baldness?!? A losing season?
J-S Giguere2yrs $2.5 Million with Colorado, former team Toronto.  Not sure how this will work unless he is healthy, guess Colorado will have special doctors so Giggy and Varly will not be injured this season. 
Brian Elliott1yr two-way deal with St. Louis. $600,000 NHL and $105,000 AHL.  Former team is Colorado.  He still has a lot to prove and will have Ben Bishop challenge him for the backup spot.
Anton Khudobin Re-signed 2yr deal with Boston.  He will take over the backup position once Tim Thomas is gone and challenge Tuukka Rask for ice time.
Curtis Sanford1yr two-way deal with Columbus $600,000 NHL & $250,000 AHL. Former team is Montreal.  Depth signing and will be veteran presence and the AHL starter.
Mark Dekanich1yr $575,000 one way deal with Columbus. Former team is Nashville/Milwaukee (AHL).   Cheers to @Dexshow.  He is an extremely hard working goalie and deserves to be in the show after having two previous outstanding AHL seasons.  With the amount of time and work he puts into his game he has a bright future ahead of him.  Plus he spent a number of seasons working with, (in my opinion) the best goalie coach out there, Mitch Korn and learned a lot from him.
I’m surprised that Tomas Vokoun was not signed yesterday…must be looking for too much money…there is still a few decent goalies out there looking for teams.

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