Thursday, June 13, 2013

2013 NHL Free Agents: Top Goaltenders

Although this year's unrestricted free agent class is said to be lacking, as you'll see by the profiles below, there are a handful of number one goaltenders who will be available on July 5.  For teams in need of assistance in net, one of the goaltenders below will fit the bill.

1.  Niklas Backstrom, 35 - The Finnish netminder is closing out a 4-year deal worth $6 million per year with the Minnesota Wild.  Backstrom quietly led the NHL in regular season wins this year with 24.  He underwent surgery for a sports hernia and is expected to be ready for the 2013-14 season start.  

2.  Ray Emery, 30 - Yes, he's the Chicago Blackhawks second goaltender. But look at those statistics from the past regular season: .922 save percentage, 17 wins with only one loss and a 1.94 goals against average. He'll be signed and just may become another team's number one goalie next season.

3.  Mike Smith, 31 - The Phoenix Coyotes' netminder proved his value in last season's Stanley Cup playoffs with a 1.99 goals-against-average and .944 save percentage in 16 games.  He had a decent lockout shortened regular season this year, and set himself up to be one of the goaltenders that several teams will give a look this offseason.  The Coyotes have not ruled out re-signing Smith, but a this point, it seems his goaltending skills will go to the highest bidder.  

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