The Detroit Red Wings are going to need to spend some coin on a goaltender for the 2020-21 season to play alongside Jonathan Bernier.
The Detroit Red Wings 2019-20 season is over, and the attention can move forward, and General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman can keep going with his Yzerplan. The league announced its latest agreement regarding the implementation of a flat salary cap amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
With these changes to the league’s future, the Red Wings will have plenty of cap room; however, one of the most significant needs is going to be goaltending help. The organization currently has Jonathan Bernier who’s season grade was the unofficial 2019-20 Red Wings Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Bernier is going to be on the books for $3 million during the 2020-21 season, while long-time starter Jimmy Howard will be cut loose for free agency. They will have to go out and bring in another goalie to be Berniers battery mate to get through the 2020-21 season.
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The 2019-20 season saw Bernier grow between the pipes and put up some surprisingly good numbers, even on a rebuilding team.
This past year, Bernier found his way into 46 total games, where he had a 15-22-3 record.
The record is not pretty, but for a rebuilding Red Wings team that was horrifying, it is genuinely not that bad.
He would produce a 2.95 goals-against average as well as a .907 save percentage, again being impressive given the circumstances of this Red Wings organization.
He was far and alone the organization’s best goaltender and his performance is what earned him the MVP title for the 2019-20 season.
Who could the Detroit Red Wings bring in as Jonathan Bernier’s battery mate?
The key to the Red Wings being more competitive during the 2020-21 season will be a strong goaltending tandem. So looking forward to next season, the organization will need some sort of a solution to keep things afloat.
The option that should be most preferred would be bringing in goaltender Robin Lehner, though this could be a little tough. Lehner might be fielding offers from competing teams rather than choosing to be in a goaltending tandem on the rebuilding Red Wings.
Beyond Lehner, there are other veteran goaltending options if the Red Wings are looking for a quick fix on a short-term contract. They could target a name like Corey Crawford or Craig Anderson, who are both veteran goaltenders.
In terms of the other goaltenders out on the market, the Red Wings could capitalize on the flat salary cap. They could sign a goaltender like Jacob Markstrom, whom the Vancouver Canucks may have a hard time bringing back.
There are plenty of options for the Red Wings to try and target, as long as they can get a dependable and viable goaltender, the tandem should be better than it was in 2019-20. With Howard’s play gone down the drain, it is sadly time to move on and get Bernier some help.
The Detroit Red Wings should try and tie up some cap room for the next two to three years minimum on a goaltender who will be Jonathan Bernier’s battery mate in 2020-21.