5 Reserve Goalkeeper Options in Free Agency

The New Jersey Devils are looking to upgrade their goalkeeper in earnest this off season. They definitely want to upgrade at least one of their goalkeepers, but there is a possibility that Tom Fitzgerald will be chasing two new goalkeepers this out of the season. Mackenzie Blackwood was once considered an important part of the nucleus, but that is not necessarily the case anymore.

Let’s say the Devils have another option to start the goalkeeper. They could keep Blackwood in the net or sign and trade for another off-season option. Either way, the Devils need a backup goalkeeper. Jonathan Bernier is rehabilitating a groin injury and will be unlikely to be ready to start next season. He was good to start the season before the hip injury became a serious problem. Now, the Devils have to decide how long they’ll go with Bernier. Whatever the case, the demons must find a second option in Grid. Fortunately, there are a few options that are coming for free this season.

Pittsburgh Penguins goalkeeper Casey Desmith (1): Vincent Carchetta – USA TODAY Sports

1. Casey Desmith

The Pittsburgh Penguins were very close to beating the New York Rangers before their surprising march to the Eastern Conference final. Fortunately for us, the Rangers couldn’t get past the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, if the Penguins had just had Casey Desmith, he might have finished in the first round.

DeSmith blocked 51 shots in his first game against the Rangers, but was injured in overtime, and Louis Domingue had to take over. As a backup with the penguins, DeSmith has large numbers. He’s never had a savings ratio below 0.910 in four years as a professional. He’s over thirty, but doesn’t have the same wear and tear as other goalkeepers. A backup by trade, he came off a season in which he started 26 games and had only four bad starts (savings ratio less than 0.850).

Demons will be lucky to have DeSmith as a backup. He has a lot to give him in the National Hockey League. This would be especially true if the demons wanted to allow Bernier to rehab. Having a three-headed goalkeeper monster at Blackwood-DeSmith-Bernier would give them multiple options to make sure they have a good goalkeeper by the end of the season.

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