Red Wings: Securing reliable goalie tandem for 2020-21 has to be a priority

(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings need to make it a priority to ensure they have a reliable goalie tandem for the 2020-21 season.

During the 2019-20 season, the Detroit Red Wings saw their perennial starting goaltender crumble, and their back-up goalie rises to the occasion and becomes the team MVP. Though the team was in dead last, Jonathan Bernier kept them in games and had the numbers to show for it.

Now, when the Red Wings head into the offseason, they need to be smart and ensure they have a capable tandem of goaltenders. If General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman learned anything from the 2019-20 season, it was that the goalies are going to suffer from a rough defense core that is still growing.

The defensemen are young, or old and on their way out of hockey for the most part, so the showing of defense in front of Bernier and Jimmy Howard was inconsistent. To be quite blunt, the defense was horrifically bad at times, but as mentioned above, Bernier found a way to keep them “in the game.”

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All of this being said, the Red Wings need to cut ties with Howard, let him walk, move onto greener pastures.

The 2020-21 free-agent pool is going to be top-heavy when it comes to goaltenders, but there is talent available amongst the free agent netminders.

There will be plenty of options for the Red Wings to go in and grab one to pair with Bernier.

It has to be a priority for Yzerman to use cap space to bring in a reliable goaltender that does not end up falling off the deep end like Howard did this past season.

Now, the Red Wings are poised for a big offseason, hopefully, either making a trade or big signing, but they still need a goalie.

The Detroit Red Wings can target any of the top tiers of free agent goalies for the 2020-21 season.

In an ideal world for the Detroit Red Wings, they can go out and sign Robin Lehner and be done with this. Lehner would pair greatly with Bernier and create quite the tandem, but the odds are not in favor that this becomes a reality in signing Lehner.

There are plenty of other options like Craig Anderson, Alexandar Georgiev, Tristan Jarry (or Matt Murray via trade), Jacob Markstrom, or any of the others. There are options, whoever the Red Wings will bring in should be fine given the options available.

At the very least, the organization needs to ensure that Bernier’s new battery mate provides some sort of stability in the crease. Given the lack of performance from Howard in 2019-20, the organization should be striving to give the team the best chance to take steps in the right direction possible.

With a flat salary cap that will not move from $81.5 million from 2019-20 and 2020-21, the Red Wings can take advantage and try to poach some players from teams in salary cap hell. The organization has some room to build a team that will make strides in 2020-21; it is up to Yzerman now.

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If nothing else, the Detroit Red Wings need to let Jimmy Howard walk and find a cheap one-year replacement to be Jonathan Bernier’s battery mate for the 2020-21 season.