It is no secret that the Vegas Golden Knights could be on the hunt for a backup goalie during the off-season, and there will be a deep pool of solid options from which to pick from.
Boasting a future Hall of Famer in Marc-Andre Fleury, the Vegas Golden Knights have been blessed in the goaltending department from day one.
However, it has also acted as a curse in that the Golden Knights have really struggled to find an adequate deputy for Fleury.
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Then, the Golden Knights appeared to hit an absolute home run out of the ballpark by sending Subban, along with prospect defenseman Slava Demin and a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft to the Chicago Blackhawks for Robin Lehner.
The audacious move automatically gave the Knights a lethal one-two punch between the pipes, arguably one of the best goalie tandems in the NHL, while boosting their hopes of making a deep postseason run.
It looked to be a stroke of genius by General Manager Kelly McCrimmon, with Lehner going 3-0-0 with a 1.67 Goals Against Average and a .940 Save Percentage in three starts for the Golden Knights.
Impressive stuff indeed.
But, there is a huge caveat at play here.
Lehner was a mere rental, a tactic the Golden Knights don’t usually employ, so the danger of the 2018-19 Vezina Trophy finalist walking as a free agent in the summer was a possibility.
The thinking from McCrimmon and the front office was that if Lehner could come in and help Vegas win a Stanley Cup, then giving away a role player, a prospect and a second-round pick would be more than a fair price to pay.
However, due to the COVID-19 crisis, there is now the real threat of Lehner leaving as a UFA having played just three games for the Golden Knights.
We’ve covered it in depth here so we won’t go over old ground but, in a nutshell, Lehner is likely going to want more than the $5 million average annual value he currently commands, which would rule the Knights out from re-signing the 28-year-old.
So, as a result, Vegas will need to dip their toes in the free agency market for a replacement and there could be a perfect solution out there.
Enter Jaroslav Halak.
The Boston Bruins goalie is due to hit the open market as an Unrestricted Free Agent this off-season, and his body of work over the last couple of years alone tells you all you need to know about the veteran’s undisputed quality.
He will arguably highlight the class of netminders set to hit free agency this summer, and we’ve mapped out the pros and cons for the Vegas Golden Knights rolling the dice on Jaroslav Halak…