The Detroit Red Wings appear to be ready to turn the page to a new chapter as far as their goaltending is concerned. Earlier today we touched on comments from an exceptionally reliable Red Wings insider that all but confirmed that goaltender Jimmy Howard is done in Detroit and now we are going to take a look at where the Red Wings could potentially turn to find a suitable replacement moving forward into the future.
There are some bigger names out there on the market but these are 5 realistic options that we believe the Red Wings could be targeting in free agency, whenever the offseason does become official.
#1 Cam Talbot.
The Calgary Flames goaltender took a one year deal last season to gamble on himself and prove that he has what it takes to be a starting goaltender in the National Hockey League again and there is no doubt that he accomplished his goal. Talbot had a bounce back year with the Flames with a 12-10-2 record and posted a 2.63 goals against average and a .919 save percentage along the way. Talbot recently made comments that suggested he will not accept a similar role next season, instead looking for a team that is willing to make him a starter. While risky this could truly be an excellent option for the Wings moving forward.
#2 Anton Khudobin.
A career backup goaltender Khudobin is coming off an outstanding season with the Dallas Stars in which he posted a 16-8-4 record, picking up a 2.22 goals against average and a .930 save percentage along the way. Those are extremely respectable numbers and although he is a career backup there is little doubt in my mind that he would be a significant upgrade over Howard and even Jonathan Bernier. A one-two punch of Bernier and Khudobin would certainly look better than Bernier and Howard did last season in my opinion.
#3 Jaroslav Halak.
Halak is a proven veteran who has demonstrated that he has the ability to steal the starting job from just about any goaltender in the National Hockey League at any given moment. Consistently one of the NHL's top performers statistically season after season. There is little doubt that he has helped push Boston's Tuukka Rask the last two seasons with the Bruins, the only question here would be whether or not Halak would be willing to sign with a team that realistically has very little shot at being a contender.
#4 Thomas Greiss
Thomas Greiss is coming off the worst season of his tenure with the New York Islanders, although he still recorded respectable numbers with a 16-9-4 record, a 2.74 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. Greiss is certainly less sexy than the other options listed above, but the Red Wings might not have the luxury of being picky given their current status in the NHL.
#5 Jacob Markstrom
The Vancouver Canucks netminder has made it clear that he wants to remain in Vancouver and there is little doubt in my mind that the Canucks intend to keep things that way as well. However with the salary cap crunch that will no doubt ensue following the NHL's suspended season the Red Wings would be in a prime position to make Markstrom a much more substantial offer than what the Canucks could afford. This one is more of a long shot to be sure, but still not outside the realm of possibility for the Red Wings.