The Detroit Red Wings need a new goaltender. Here are top candidates.

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One of general manager Steve Yzerman’s top tasks as he retools the Detroit Red Wings is to acquire a goaltender.

Jonathan Bernier enters the 2020-21 season – whenever that may be – as the presumptive starter. When the NHL shut down March 12 because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Bernier’s record was 15-22-3 with a 2.95 goals-against average and .907 save percentage. He was the team’s most valuable player since mid-December, posting a 2.72 GAA and .915 save percentage in his last 25 games.

Bernier, 31, started 16 of the Wings’ last 19 games, and appeared in 18 of them because Jimmy Howard was pulled in his last two starts.

Howard, 36, was signed to a one-year extension last season by then-general manager Ken Holland with the mindset that if Howard played well, he’d be back for another season. That won’t happen – Howard, 36, struggled in 2019-20: 2-23-2 with a 4.20 GAA and .882 save percentage.

There isn’t anybody in the system ready to spell Bernier. Calvin Pickard, signed by Yzerman last summer to serve as a third-string goalie, appeared in three games with the Wings, posting a 5.46 GAA and .797 save percentage. None of the prospects are remotely close to ready for NHL action – Filip Larsson, 21, considered the organization’s top goalie prospect last summer, struggled so much his first year of pro hockey he spent more games (10, posting a 2.72 GAA and .910 save percentage) with Toledo in the ECHL than with Grand Rapids (seven, posting a 4.01 GAA and .843 save percentage) in the AHL.

Yzerman could look at trading for a goaltender, but the players he has that would interest another team are key parts of the rebuild. A more likely option is to use free agency.

Braden Holtby, who backstopped the Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup championship in 2018, headlines the list of goalies who are eligible to become unrestricted free agents this offseason. Holtby was selected in the fourth round of the 2008 draft, when the Wings wasted their first-round pick on goalie Tom McCollum, who played a grand total of three NHL games.

Holtby may not be interested in joining a rebuilding team though, and he also will want more than the Wings likely are interested in spending (he’s coming off a $6.1 million cap hit). Robin Lehner, another of the bigger fish expected to be available, is coming off a $5 million deal and also seems out of the Wings’ range.

Here are more realistic options.


Cam Talbot

Talbot, 32, posted a 12-10-2 record with a 2.63 GAA and .919 save percentage in 26 games with the Calgary Flames this season. He’s coming off a contract with a $2.75 million cap hit. The 6-foot-4, 196-pound veteran has more than 300 NHL games to his credit, having played for the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers. He has been a starter and a backup, and seems well suited to tandem with Bernier.


Jaroslav Halak

Halak, 34, posted an 18-6-6 record with a 2.39 GAA and .919 save percentage 31 games with the Boston Bruins this season. He’s coming off a contract with a $2.75 million cap hit. He’s handled pretty heavy workloads the last three season, topping out at 54 games with the Islanders in 2017-18. Halak has played 520 NHL games, and is another guy who has been both starter and backup.


Anton Khudobin

Khudobin, 33, posted a 16-8-4 record with a 2.22 GAA and .930 save percentage with the Dallas Stars. He’s coming off a contract with a $2.5 million cap hit. He has played for the Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins (two stints), the Anaheim Ducks and Carolina Hurricanes. He’s appeared in 218 NHL games and has finished every season with a .900 or better save percentage, including a .923 save percentage in 41 games in 2018-19 with Dallas.


Thomas Greiss

Greiss, 34, posted a 16-9-4 record with a 2.74 GAA and .913 save percentage in 31 games with the New York Islanders. He’s coming off a contract with a $3.33 million cap hit. The 6-2, 232-pound native of Germany has played 282 games in a career also spent with the San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins. He’s posted a save percentage of .913 or better in four of the last five seasons.


Jacob Markstrom

Markstrom, 30, posted a 23-16-4 record with a 2.75 GAA and .918 save percentage in 43 games with the Vancouver Canucks. He’s coming off a contract with a $3.67 million cap hit. He’s one of the bigger goalies in the NHL at 6-6, 206 pounds, and has 272 games to his credit, starting his career with the Florida Panthers. He appeared in 60 games in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and posted a .912 save percentage both seasons.


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