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2010 Free Agent Goaltender Market

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The offseason goaltending market is pretty ugly.  Here are the 10 unrestricted free agents who have any consequential value above replacement level, ranked by even-strength save percentage since the lockout:

 

Goalie Age EVSV% EV Shots $Val/1500 $Val/Yr $$ 2009-10
Yann Danis 28 926 1000 8.7 1.9 0.5
Dan Ellis 29 923 2348 6.9 3.1 1.75
Ray Emery 26 923 3295 6.8 4.1 1.5
Evgeni Nabokov 33 921 6142 5.6 5.9 5.375
Chris Mason 33 919 4877 4.7 4.0 3
Marty Turco 33 918 6288 4.2 4.5 5.7
Manny Legace 36 918 4169 4.0 3.0 0.5
Martin Biron 31 917 4931 3.8 3.3 1.4
Peter Budaj 26 915 3990 2.3 1.7 1.25
Alex Auld 28 914 3882 1.6 1.3 0.5

 

[That's cap hit, not salary, in the right-hand column.]

Replacement is pretty easy to define for goaltenders: Vesa Toskala or Jose Theodore.  (There's more to it - replacement save percentage ends up being 911.7, which is basically what Toskala and Theodore have done.)  If we value one marginal free agent win at $2.3M (the price of free agent skater wins), we can determine a goaltender's approximate value if he faces 1500 shots (approx. 50 games).  Note that the average cost of a goaltender win is actually much lower because of the contributions of RFA and entry-level players. 

Anybody excited about giving a multi-year contract to a goalie who's over 30 and hasn't performed all that well or played much recently?  No?  Then Dan Ellis will have many suitors!

There are a few other possibilities:

Goalie Age EVSV% EV Shots
$Value/1500

$$ 2009-10
Status
Josh Harding 25 927 1762 9.2 1.1 RFA
Jaroslav Halak 24 925 2456 8.4 0.775 RFA
Carey Price 21 923 3129 7.2 2.2 RFA

 

Each of these goaltenders will command large contracts with their respective organizations and/or will be in high demand in the trade market.  Halak, Price and Harding probably offer $10+M of surplus value over the RFA period of their contract.  From Montreal's perspective, there's no question in my mind that Price is a better investment than Halak going forward - Halak being more overvalued - but the odds of Montreal moving Halak are about 1-in-a-million.