The offseason goalkeeper movement during the past few weeks for the National Hockey League has been rather unusual for the sport, as some of the league’s most legendary players have signed with new franchises. Goalies that will be donning new colors on Jan. 1 of the new year include Corey Crawford, formerly of the Chicago Blackhawks, Devan Dubnyk, formerly of the Minnesota Wild, Braden Holtby, formerly of the Washington Capitals, Henrik Lundqvist, formerly of the New York Rangers, Jacob Markstrom, formerly of the Vancouver Canucks and Matt Murray, formerly of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
According to an article on the NHL’s official website, Crawford has led the Blackhawks to two Stanley Cup Championships (2013, 2015) throughout his career with the franchise which began in 2003. In all 488 games played, his career record is 260-162-53, with a goals against average of 2.77 and a .918 save percentage, cementing his name in Chicago sports history as the third-most winningest player in the organization. He has seen the most postseason wins for the Blackhawks, logging 52 in the books. An article published on Saturday, Oct. 10 on NHL.com states that as of Oct. 9 he became an unrestricted free-agent. That same day, the New Jersey Devils agreed to terms with him, locking the goalie down for two years. Crawford is set to rake in $3.6 million the first year and $4.2 million the second. At 35 years old, the seasoned professional shows no signs of slowing down, having started 39 of 40 games played, and having a save percentage of .917 for the 2019-2020 season. Perhaps next season, with Crawford in net, the Devils will have a shot at winning the cup after a 17 year drought.
It’s no secret that Devan Dubnyk helped out the Wild when they needed it most back in 2015, when their star goalie Josh Harding fell ill. Since establishing himself in the league back in 2009, he is tenth in saves, with 13,655 per NHL.com. He is a three time all-star athlete, after being invited to join the best of the league in 2016, 2017 and 2019. In the 520 games where Dubnyk has seen ice-time (247-195-52), he has notched a .915 save percentage and a 2.58 GAA. 32 of these games were shutouts on Dubnyk’s watch, and with eleven seasons under his belt, he has proven to still be in his prime. The transaction will send him to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in the 2022 draft. The Wild will reportedly retain half of Dubnyk’s salary.
Braden Holtby is a hockey hero, backstopping the Washington Capitals in their 2018 journey to win the Stanley Cup. In ten years as a world-class goaltender, he has racked up 35 shutouts with an overall record of 282-122-46, as stated on NHL.com. His 2.54 GAA is commendable, and made him irresistible to the Vancouver Canucks during his free agency period. His repertoire of accomplishments includes winning the Vezina Trophy in the 2015-2016 season, the William M. Jennings Trophy the following year and, of course, leading the Caps to their first cup win during the 2017-2018 season. Holtby’s new contract with Vancouver is for two-years up north, with about $4.3 million per year.
Henrik Lundqvist’s leave from New York is one of most unfortunate things to happen in the history of New York Sports. As elaborated upon in “Lundqvist’s Era Ends in New York,” published two weeks ago, the impact that he has made on the New York Rangers organization is innumerable. In a whopping 887 games played (459-310-96), his GAA was 2.43 over 15 seasons in red, white and blue. His trophy case is glimmering, winning the Vezina Trophy in the 2011-2012 season; however, the goalie has not yet hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup. This, in part, has motivated him to pursue a career elsewhere after 15 seasons in the big apple. Joining the likes of hockey phenom Alexander Ovechkin, the Caps have signed him to a one year contract, worth $1.5 million, as stated by the NHL.
After developing into the athlete that he is in Vancouver with the Canucks, in unrestricted free agency, Jacob Markstrom has decided to sign with the Calgary Flames for a six-year $36 million contract, stated by Tim Campbell, a staff-writer for NHL.com. With one all-star selection during his career, the goalie has started 218 games in net, with an overall record of 99-93-27, a 2.73 GAA and .913 save percentage. The average annual value of his agreement with the Flames is a healthy $6 million per year. Markstrom’s ripe age of 30 is a testament to the fact that he has a lot left to give.
Matt Murray has been a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization since October of 2016, and has grown into the athlete he is today in that city. He helped the Penguins in winning back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships in 2016 and 2017, but as of last season, he split ice time with Tristan Jarry. The NHL’s website announced that following his brief status as a restricted free-agent, he was scooped up by the Ottawa Senators, with a $25 million contract over the span of four years. In Ottawa, he will assume the role of starting-goalkeeper, and with a career GAA of 2.67 and a save percentage of .914, he is sure to bring the heat to the capital city of Canada.
The goalie movement during this free-agency period was rather remarkable, but goaltenders were not the only hockey players to make waves at this time. Next week, The Mirror will cover the period in a more general sense, detailing what other jaw-dropping changes have been made to rosters during the offseason. Be sure to check that story out in next week’s issue, talking about other major moves and acquisitions.