Over the last 24 hours, numerous goalies became available throughout the league. We already discussed the availability of Jaroslav Halak here, but there are a few interesting options popping up.
John Fontana with Raw Charge wonders if the Lightning are shopping goalie Mike Smith. With solid depth in the minors and a significant amount of money owed to Smith this season and next (2.4 million cap hit) it may make sense to move the talented netminder. With the 27-year-old playing six of the last nine Lightning games, it certainly makes sense that the team would be shopping him.
Likewise, the Florida Panthers listed goalie Tomas Vokoun as available according to Chris Botta of Fanhouse. Botta points out that top prospect Jacob Markstrom seems poised to join the club after this season leaving them with what they would consider two top goaltenders. Markstrom is certainly the future of the organization, but if he needs more time to develop the Panthers may have another lost year on their hands.
Vokoun carries a lofty cap hit of 5.7 million meaning Florida most likely would need to take on a contract of similar weight. Despite breaking the bank, the Czech native is perhaps the only true number one goalie on the market and would provide a boost to those teams needing insurance between the pipes. Botta predicts a second rounder as fair value for the 33-year-old. Would a Daniel Briere for Vokoun swap make sense?
Perhaps our wackiest rumor for today, The New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes Dan Cloutier would be a good fit with the team that drafted him. Not only is the aforementioned Cloutier suspended for fighting in his first game, but he has not seen an NHL game in over two years. Unless the Rangers are in the market for a new enforcer, I simply do not see them grabbing the 33-year-old and not taking an established backup like Michael Leighton.
In all honesty, acquiring Cloutier would be a baseless move. Although he could teach Donald Brashear a thing or two about fighting.
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