As the NHL continues to evolve, the need for a competent backup goaltender continues to increase. The days of having your star goalie play 70 games a year while having an inexpensive backup fill in a few times a year are over – sorry, Scott Clemmensen and essentially everyone who backed up Miikka Kiprusoff during his heyday.
On Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Kings moved goaltender Jack Campbell and forward Kyle Clifford to Toronto for Trevor Moore and a pair of draft picks. It was just the second trade involving a goalie during the regular season – but the first involving an actual NHLer (Detroit sent Eric Comrie to Arizona for defenseman Vili Saarijarvi, but Comrie didn’t play a game before heading back to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose). In Campbell, the Leafs finally address the team’s lack of depth behind Fredrik Andersen, something that’s been an issue since the club let Curtis McElhinney walk via waivers prior to the 2018-19 season. With Andersen out day-to-day (at the moment) and Michael Hutchinson struggling to fill the gap this season, Campbell is a low-risk, high-reward move that could fill in the gaps for the time being. Plus, with an extra year on his contract, the Leafs could hold on to Campbell if the experiment pans out.
This summer, Braden Holtby (Washington), Jacob Markstrom (Vancouver) and Robin Lehner (Chicago) are three of the big-name UFAs available, but the real attention turns towards the backup market. Thomas Greiss, Cam Talbot, Jaroslav Halak, Anton Khudobin and Brian Elliott, among others, will be available for pickup and, as proven veterans, they won’t come cheap. Teams that have them don’t want to give them up, making them valuable trade assets if a fit exists. With just under three weeks to go until the trade deadline on Feb. 24, 2020, let’s take a look at six other goalies who could be on the move this season:
Alexandar Georgiev, 23 (NY Rangers)
Georgiev’s name has been linked to trade rumors for more than a year now, specifically to the Toronto Maple Leafs.