Sunday, 8 April 2007

2006-07 Off-Season UFA's (Goalie Update)

The cream of the crop has been winnowed to:





From my last post (here) the changes are (in no particular order):

1. Backstrom finishing 23-8-6 with a .929 sv%
-- Those are 'wow' kind of numbers. With any brains at all his agent is telling him to go Unrestricted. With Kolzig's best years coming to an end Washington would be stupid not to pursue this guy.

2. Biron signs with Philly.
-- Signed a two-year deal with an average Cap hit of $ 3.5 m/yr. Good deal for both sides.

3. Garon finishes with 32 gp / 13-10-6 with a .907 sv%.
-- The key is the decent sv% on a bad team. With Cap and Salary inflation considered Garon represents a GREAT signing if he can be picked up for less than $ 2.0 m/yr. On a multi-year deal it would be a stellar signing imo.

4. Dunham is just plain awful
-- He had a chance to garner attention and totally blew it.

5. Smith finishes okay.
-- Not enough games to decide much and his team (Dallas) was pretty good overall but a .912 sv% over 23 games should garner attention. It won't but it should.

6. Giguere and Bryzgalov finish well.
-- Giguere is one good play-off run away from $ 6.0+ m/yr - if Burke lets him go I surmise that Anaheim's NEXT season will not be as good as this last one simply because Bryz. isn't as good as Giguere.

I have to think that Giguere and Backstrom are the class of this UFA goalie crop.

I still expect Burke to sign Giguere but who knows with Burke. I have a lot of respect for him as a GM however and it wouldn't surprise me if he let Giguere go and signed Backstrom.

Backstrom, as noted, should be a hot commodity but one never knows with player preferences, he may re-up with Minny even though the smart money says to test free agency - there are a lot of teams out there with poor (Tampa), mediocre (Columbus), aging (Detroit, Florida, Edmonton and Washington) or combo of the same (Phoenix) goaltenders out there and there is only one young goalie with exceptional numbers available.
Have a great evening everyone.

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