Goaltending options

I know that with Boucher and Leighton signed, along with looking at the personnel we had last year in the net, we can get a pretty good idea about how much management is willing to pay for the position.  That in mind, I felt it would be useful to look at some stats and other information to get an idea of who the best duo for the flyers could be this year assuming that moves could be made, but would be reasonable moves.

For purposes of this experiment, I will assume that they flyers would be looking to spend no more than 3.5 mil between 2 goalies, and that the cap space could be allocated to fit the remaining appropriate personnel.


Lets first explore our current signed players:


Michael Leighton: $1.55 Million

Career stats: 103 GP (34-40-10) 2.94GAA .902 Sv%

Best year - 2009-10 (17-9-2)* 2.84 GAA .905 Sv%

*stats include games played with carolina

Thoughts: Leighton saved our season last year.  He had a career year and a career playoff performance, despite the goal that lost the cup, he was a huge reason that we were even anywhere close to that game.  He earned the contract he was given this off season, but (and I would like to do a more in depth analysis into contract year performance and following year performance) it was his best performance of his career which might mean that he would regress this coming year.

Decision: Assuming he plays exactly the same as last year, the improvements in our defensive corps should benefit his numbers and confidence.  On a scale of 1-10 I give Michael Leighton a 5.


Brian Boucher:  $0.925 Million

Career stats:  280 GP (101-121-30)  2.72 GAA .900 Sv%

Best Year - 1999-2000*(20-10-3) 1.91 GAA .918 Sv%

                     2008-09 (12-6-0-3) 2.18 GAA  .917 Sv%

*Pre lockout, included post lockout best season for comparitive purposes.

Thoughts: About midway through the season last year, I was down on Boucher because whenever he played we seemed to lose, but while doing some other statistical analysis, the majority of the stretch of games that Boosh played were lost due to offensive trouble, as Boosh's stats belied his record and he was in fact playing his ass off.


Decision: A lot of people here probably would agree that Boosh is a 1A kind of guy, he is mature enough and has the skill to make the saves and reads plays pretty well.  He, like so few of our goalies in the last few years, is a guy that can steal a game or two here or there for you.  1-10 grade: 6


Marty Turco: offered $2 Mil (will assume thats what hell get if he signs here)

Career Stats: 509 GP (262-154-26-37)  2.31 GAA .911 Sv%

Best Year: 2006-07 (38-20-5) 2.23 GAA  .910 Sv%

Thoughts: Proven #1 goalie a guy who has played 60+ games a season multiple times in his career and has great numbers doing it.  at 34, he probably has about 2-4 good years left, and the fact that he wants to play here would make his cap hit bearable even if it is a major pay cut for him.

Decision: If last year's goal was to sure up the netminding and defense with Emery and Pronger, then this years version of that would have to be Turco and the current defensive corps.  Emery was a proven #1 guy from his time in ottawa, and Turco is the same kind of guy but without the questionable off ice antics.  I know that a lot of people dont think that he is good, or at least the guy for us, but he has played, since the lockout, in 60+ games in 4 out of 5 seasons (last year playing "only" 53) and has not had a losing record (points wise) in that time playing in the western conference.  1-10 grade: 9


Josh Harding: (RFA)

Career Stats: 83 GP (28-39-0-4) 2.66 GAA  .915 Sv%

Best Year: debatable.  His games played are really too low to be looked at in that kind of statistical sense.  His best statistical year came in 08-09 with a GAA of 2.21 and Sv% of .929, but his record was 3-9-0-1 and only played 19 games 11 of which were started, his best record year was I guess 07-08 where he went 11-15-0-2 in 29 games (25 starts) but his numbers were GAA of 2.94 Sv% .908.


Thoughts:  The well known phrase "Goalies take longer to develop" is kind of what I am looking at here.  The guy has been pretty unlucky as far as W-L record goes but his stats look pretty good (which may be a result of the minnesota system).  That said, the guy is only a year older than I am so he should have a decent career ahead, and if his numbers continue to look like that his W-L record will swing the other way.

Decision: His contract value (as will be the case for the remaining options I mention here for now will be) is really the big factor as an RFA will lead to pick compensation.  However, to fit into my cap scenario, he would be in the 2nd round bracket which if I am correct we traded for Mezaros. 1-10 score: 7


Ondrej Pavelec: (RFA)

Career Stats: 61 GP (20-28-0-7)  3.33 GAA  .902 Sv%

Best Year: 09-10 14-18-0-7  3.29 GAA 9.06 Sv%

Thoughts: Another young RFA, I would go out on a limb to say that he was probably the victim of a pretty bad team, but had the advantage to get a lot of games in last year with Lehtonens injury.  He is really young for a goalie, which could be good or bad, at 22, he'll have played only 22 fewer games than Harding.

Decision: Unproven, but faired pretty well on a lottery team playing a lot of games for a young guy.  Again assuming 2nd round pick compensation bracket for these purposes. 1-10 score: 6


Antti Niemi: (RFA)

Career Stats: 42 GP (27-8-0-5)  2.32 GAA  .910 Sv%

Best Year: Yeah I dont Think I have to go there seeing as hes only played for one year (exception 3 games) and we know how that turned out.

Thoughts: Ok, ok he was the Stanley Cup winning goaltender this year *sob* but I feel that if anything that only over inflates his contract value.  He's still ridiculously young, and he is really the only one that I see who might get into the 3rd round pick bracket (though the cup win may blow that out of the water(damn agents)).  That said, he benefited enormously from playing on a team who had an unbelievably talented defensive group, and that in mind, I think the personnel we have defensively (and offensively) would keep his confidence high and allow him to continue to perform at the high level he played last season.  Also, according to Euroflyers(Truth!) he seems to like the atmosphere of Philly which could be in our favor.

Decision: I would be fine with him seeing the contract be similar to 2 Million or something in that area.  He's young, plays well, with a few weaknesses which can be tweaked and improved. 1-10 score: 7




Jose Theodore: would also have to take a pay cut, listed at 4.5 Mil, not sure how willing he would be to do so, havent heard discussion about him as much as I have Turco's interest in playing here.

Career Stats: 548 GP (245-221-42)  2.68 GAA  .908 Sv%

Best Year: Again differs in record and stats.  Last year was his best record year (30-7-7) but with the caps and a GAA of 2.81, not great and a Sv% of .911.  Best stat year was 01-02 with the habs, (30-24-10) GAA of 2.11 Sv% of .931.

Thoughts: I feel he is another guy who will be over inflated as far as price goes due to his record the last few seasons with the caps.  Not to take away from his ability as a goalie, but it is the caps offense that wins their games, not defense or goaltending.  He is another seasoned vet like boosh or turco, though he has played more games in a single season that boosh (Theo has played 67 a couple times) but not as many as turco (Turco has played as many as 74).  On top of that, he played most of his big game seasons pre lockout, and looks to have struggled after the sabbatical.

Decision: Based on stats alone I dont think I would feel comfortable with Theo.  He may have skill, but he has only had one really good season since the lockout (07-08 with the Avs) on a team not named the Washington Redscare. This coupled with his age make him a higher risk and not as good of an option as Turco or even Boucher. 1-10 score: 3

If there is anyone else that you guys would like to see like this let me know and I can add to the post.  I did not bother to look at Carey Price despite him having not resigned yet, I think he will probably go for too much to fit our cap, and I would not touch Vesa Toskola's glove hand with a ten foot pole (Because it would go right by him).  But any thoughts or improvements, I also didn't include Backlund because I only looked at NHL Experience of which he has very little.

This item was written by a member of this community and is not necessarily endorsed by <em>Broad Street Hockey</em>.

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