Now that Josh Harding has signed with the Minnesota Wild, there are 38 free agent goalies available come July 1, according to TSN’s list.
(That’s not taking into account Curtis Sanford, who although the information is not included by TSN, we know is headed to the KHL.)
Of those 38 free agents, 12 are 32 years of age, or older. The remaining netminders have played an average of 50.2 NHL games.
In fact, of the 26 younger goalies, only ten have played more than half a season’s worth of games in the NHL: Dan Ellis (165), Curtis McElhinney (69), Yann Danis (50), Al Montoya (57), Alex Auld (237), Michael Leighton (104), Antero Nittymaki (234), Sebastien Caron (95), Jonas Gustavsson (107), Dany Sabourin (57)
Worse yet, there are only six goalies on TSN’s list who are under 32 years old and who have ever played in an NHL postseason game: Ellis, Auld, Leighton, Nittymaki, Sabourin, and Johan Backlund.
Considering the premium teams place on goaltending, it is fair to say it is going to be tough for the Blue Jackets to address their needs through free agency.
And that might be an understatement.