Red Wings: Goaltending free agent market taking hits with recent signings

(Gerry Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Gerry Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings are focused on the draft, but the goaltending market full of options is starting to thin out and take some hits with recent signings.

As the 2020 NHL Entry Draft approaches and the Detroit Red Wings will have to weigh out their options with the fourth overall selection, they will have to fill a goaltending need. Could this mean they will explore taking Yaroslav Askarov with the fourth overall selection? Only time will tell.

The goaltending free-agent market has already started to thin out and see some names fall off the board. While there are plenty of options between expensive and inexpensive goalies, or even just temporary fixes, the Red Wings will be able to fill the void. The issue is some of the desirable names have already disappeared from the market.

The Vegas Golden Knights recently took Robin Lehner off the market, with a five-year, $25 million contract extension. This was almost certainly a stab in the back for Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury who will now likely be hoping to be traded.

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However, for the Red Wings, it leaves them unable to pursue signing Robin Lehner, who could have been a very intriguing option for this organization.

While Lehner seemingly wanted to stay with a contender, he could have signed a shorter-term contract with the Red Wings to see the team rebuild and then ultimately be competitive once again.

On top of Lehner’s signing, veteran goaltender Brian Elliott re-upped with the Philadelphia Flyers organization on a one-year contract.

Elliott is playing backup to the youthful and rising star, Carter Hart. Elliott is not one of the goaltenders the Red Wings may have been looking at, but he was a reliable veteran option.

Then, the Pittsburgh Penguins have put themselves into an exciting situation. It was known that they would likely be committing with their goaltending leading to some shuffling.

The Penguins would re-sign Tristan Jarry on a three-year, $10.5 million contract, leaving Matt Murray in a tough spot. While Jarry comes off the market, even though he was a restricted free agent, Murray might fall onto the trade block.

The Red Wings organization will be able to look at the market and either sign someone like a Thomas Greiss, Louis Domingue, or veteran Mike Smith and be done with it. But it seems like the goaltending market will thin out fast once free agency finally does begin after the draft.

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The focus, for now, will be on the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, but after that, General Manager Steve Yzerman will need to make sure that he secures a solution for the Detroit Red Wings’ goaltending situation.