Chris Driedger, Panthers (26 years old / UFA this summer / $850K cap hit): The mix of Spencer Knight signing, Sergei Bobrovsky’s contract still having five years remaining, and Driedger able to be a UFA this summer puts him on the trade bait list. He’s emerged as a viable starter for the Panthers, posting a .945 5-on-5 save percentage and a 5.76 goals saved above average in 17 appearances, per Natural Stat Trick.
Driedger’s status as a rental and his cheap cap hit makes him an attractive option for playoffs teams looking to add to their goaltending depth. But should the Panthers be eager to flip him for futures or ride this out with him and Bob and be fine with letting him walk in free agency?
Antti Raanta, Coyotes (31 years old / UFA this summer / $4.25M cap hit): There is a catch when it comes to acquiring Raanta at this year’s NHL trade deadline. He’s been a solid goaltender, as shown by his .922 even strength save percentage in 103 appearances over the last five years. But injuries have hindered him from keeping hold of the No. 1 job in Arizona. If he can stay healthy when he returns, all is good. But when did you know of NHL GMs taking risks as opposed to being ultra-conservative?
Jonathan Bernier, Red Wings (32 years old / UFA this summer / $3M cap hit): Currently injured, Bernier has performed well behind a poor Red Wings team. He has a .935 5-on-5 save percentage in 17 games played and his 5.81 goals saved above average is just outside the top 20 among goaltenders with at least 700 minutes played.
Bernier could be good insurance for a playoff team, and the Red Wings will be looking to add to their slew of picks this offseason (six in the opening three rounds).