It’s a big day in the world of hockey. It’s the start of the NHL Free Agency. A day every hockey fan looks forward to while also dreading it horribly. A day when your favorite player on your favorite team could suddenly sign a contract with a rival or a Great of the league could come to your measly little team. It’s a shit show.
This year, the goalie market will be in the spotlight. In September, New York Rangers legend Henrick Lundqvist was bought out by the franchise. The question was, will he retire, or will he go somewhere new? I’ll give you the answer. He’s headed to the Washington Capitals. He was drafted in 2000 by the Rangers and played four more seasons for Sweden before making the jump over the pond in ‘05 to begin playing in New York. He played 15 seasons with perfect hair and a nearly perfect save percentage (.915). This morning, he signed a one-year contract with Washington and stated he has “one goal” in mind.
Marc-Andre Fleury is also a goalie in question. He was drafted first overall in 2003 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he played until 2017. The expansion draft moved him to the Vegas Golden Knight, where he spent the past three seasons. But now it looks like his time there as a starter has run out.
Robin Lehner, formerly of the New Islanders and the Chicago Blackhawks and a few other franchises, recently signed on with the Golden Knights and looks to take over as the teams starting goaltender. Both Lehner and Fluery are strong in net, provide mental toughness to their teams, and are loved throughout the league. VGK fans will be paying close attention to who will start and who will be second-up.
Capitals former starting goalie Braden Holtby has signed a two-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks. Washington selected Holtby back in the fourth-round in 2008. He went on to help the franchise win its first Stanley Cup in 2017-18.
The now-former Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom has signed a six-year contract with the Calgary Flames. He was negotiating an extension with the Canucks before they ultimately chose Holtby.
Goalies still in question currently are Thomas Greiss (NY Islanders), Corey Crawford (Chicago Blackhawks), Craig Anderson (Ottawa Senators), Mike Smith ( Edmonton Oilers), Aaron Dell (San Jose Sharks), and Jimmy Howard (Detroit Red Wings).
Other notable signings from today are Jack Johnson to the New York Rangers, Justin Shultz to the Washington Capitals, and the resigning of Anton Khudobin with Dallas and the resigning of Patrick Maroon and Luke Schenn to Tampa Bay.
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