NHL Free Agents 2018

Notable Goaltender Free Agents: Lehner, Mrazek, Hutton

Carter Hutton: Hutton has been said to be getting a lot of traffic from teams around the league. A lot of teams can use Hutton’s services. The question is though will Hutton settle for another backup goaltending job or will he go to a team that will offer him a starting role. It seems that Hutton wants to leave St. Louis indicating he wants to be a starting goalie. Luckily some starting roles are open. The Islanders, Sabres, Red Wings, Flyers, Canucks and others can all use a starting goalie. Hutton has started in 114 career games posting a 63-39-17 record, with a 2.42 GAA and .915 save percentage. Hutton was undrafted emerging in the league with Chicago in 2012 shortly being moved to Nashville the following season where he started in the most games of his career. Appearing in 34 games with a 20-11-4 record, 2.62 GAA, and .910 SV %. Hutton appeared in just a combined 53 games in the following three years. Until seeing more time this past season appearing in 26 games posting a 17-7-3with a 2.09 GAA and .931 SV percentage. Hutton came in for relief after Jake Allen had some minor mishaps in the crease, which Hutton was a solid and reliable number two which is probably why he has gained so much interest around the league. Hutton has got calls from a few teams and most notably the Blackhawks, where he started his career in 2012.

Petr Mrazek: Mrazek is another young goaltender hitting the free agency market. After being sent over from Detroit to Philadelphia at the trade deadline it has been rumored that Mrazek will not be getting an offer from Philadelphia this offseason making him a qualified free agent. Mrazek was drafted in the 5th round in 2010, making his appearance in the NHL 2012, appearing in just 34 games during his first three years. Slowly after that, he started getting more frequent time from 2015-2017 appearing in 93 games posting a 45-37-15 with a 2.69 GAA, .911 SV percentage. After having a falling out in the 2016-17 season, Mrazek appeared in just 15 games with Detroit after being sent to Philadelphia. Last season Mrazek posted a 14-13-6 record with a 3.05 GAA and a .905 SV percentage in 33 games. Where will Mrazek end up is unknown right now as it only came out a few days ago that he will be a free agent now. A lot of traction will be coming after Mrazek as he is a 26-year-old goaltender with a ton of upside.

Robin Lehner: Another 26-year-old goaltender on the free agency market. Lehner has been said that he will also not be receiving a contract offer from the Sabres, therefore, he will be a free agent. Lehner was expected to be a solid number one this season after failing to do so and posting a 14-26-9 record, the Sabres have obviously decided to move forward. Lehner has career numbers of 72-97-35 with a 2.82 GAA and .915 SV percentage. Lehner has been the “starter” in Buffalo for about two seasons now, after beating out Andres Nilsson last season, Lehner was given the ropes in Buffalo. Being drafted by Ottawa in 2009 in the second round and spending 5 seasons with them appearing in 76 games and failing to post an above .500 record in net, Lehner was sent over to Buffalo in 2015. Not making his mark as a number one goaltender yet, Lehner still has plenty of time to prove to some NHL clubs that he is a worthy number one.



NHL News

Robin Lehner expected to be a free agent, Sabres looking to trade down in NHL draft, Eric Gryba out in Edmonton

A lot of Buffalo Sabres news. As it came out a little while ago, the Sabres have said they will not be offering Robin Lehner a contract, therefore, he will be a UFA come July 1st. Robin Lehner was sent over from Ottawa to Buffalo in 2015. The Sabres acquired Lehner and David Legwand while giving up a 1st round pick that was later used to pick Colin White.

Lehner posted bad numbers last year with a 14-26-9 record with a 3.01 GAA and a .908 SV percentage. The Sabres saw a solid year out of Lehner during the first two years he was here but expecting him to really come into a starting role the 26-year-old goaltender failed to meet the Sabres standards and will now be a free agent in the coming days. Lehner is still relatively young with plenty of years in him and the chance to crack an NHL roster as a starter. Some teams that may use Lehner’s services are the Islanders, Blackhawks, Stars, Red Wings, Montreal, Ottawa, Rangers. Lehner is a sure backup goaltender and a fringe starter, therefore, either of these teams could make sense.

Lehner’s career numbers are 72-97-35 with a 2.82 GAA and .915 SV percentage. Let’s see where the 26-year-old goaltender lands int he coming weeks.

More Buffalo news…

More news out of Buffalo is that they are extremely interested in trading down to the Canadiens number three pick, while also rumoring to give Montreal Ryan O’Reilly. Essentially a deal could like the Sabres receiving Max Pacioretty, the 3rd overall for Ryan O’Reilly and their first overall pick. A lot of chatter has come out about this. And if the Sabres do this and miss on Dahlin it may be the biggest mistake in their franchise history essentially.

Gryba Out

Minor news out of Edmonton is that Eric Gryba was placed on waivers with the intention to buy him out. Gryba is 30-years-old on a $900,000 deal which ends at the end of the 2018-19 campaign. Gryba has tallied 14 points in 104 games. Since coming to Edmonton Gryba has yet to play a full season and has really failed to be a solid sixth defenseman for the Oilers. The positive for Gryba is that most defenseman and players who leave Edmonton end up doing fine and he is also 6’4 230 lbs a lot of NHL teams wouldn’t mind that demeanor on the blueline.