With the uncertainty of Ryan Miller returning next season, the Ducks are going to have to look at other options for their backup goalie position.
The Ducks have had strong goaltending these past few years, especially the Gibson/Miller tandem. Anaheim is going to have to look for another reliable backup to fill Millers’ shoes.
Whether that may be through free agency or bringing up someone from within the system, the Ducks might just need a new backup.
These are some potential goalies that could fill that position.
While Stolarz hasn’t shown much at the NHL level, he’s shown some promise in the AHL. This past season with the Gulls Stolarz put up a .922 save% with a 2.66 GAA (Goals Against Average) in 49 games. Stolarz was also selected for the AHL All-Star Game.
In a game Stolarz played with the Ducks he put up a .944 save% with a 2.05 GAA in a losing effort against the Blues back in February of this year. The only problem is that Stolarz has had problems with consistency throughout his career. In 2018-19 Stolarz struggled with the Oilers in the 6 games he played.
He’s shown flashes of great goaltending but he just needs to be more consistent. Anthony Stolarz can be an easy option for the Ducks since he’s already in their system.
Brossoit may be a bit of an expensive option but he’ll provide the Ducks with solid goaltending. His stats may have been on the decline but in 2018-19 he had a monster season with the Jets. In 21 games Brossoit had an impressive .925 save% and a 2.52 GAA. He’s proven to be a solid backup option for the Jets.
This coming offseason Laurent will be an unrestricted free agent (UFA). His contract is worth $1.225 million which he signed on May 25th, 2019. Brossoit could be seeking more after having a stellar season in 2018-19. Laurent Brossoit might be a target for the Ducks in the offseason if they aren’t impressed with what’s in the system.
Much like when the Ducks brought in Ryan Miller, Mike Smith offers that same veteran presence. Smith can be a very dependable goalie for Anaheim.
In the past three seasons, he hasn’t exactly been a starter or a backup. He’s switched in and out of the net through most of those seasons. Smith had a pretty average year last season posting a .902 save% with a 2.95 GAA. Looking back at Smith’s career shows how good he was and can be. Even at the age of 38 years old, he can still play at the NHL level. Mike is a 2x NHL All-Star and he made those appearances back to back in 2017 and 2018.
Last year Smith’s cap hit was $2 million with incentives, however, Smith may take a lower pay grade depending on how many teams are offering him contracts. Mike Smith may be one of the better options for the Ducks backup position for next season.
Although Kinkaid had a down season last year he can still provide great goaltending at the backup position. Kinkaid has played the backup role throughout most of his career. He put up solid numbers during his tenure with the New Jersey Devils. His best season came in 2016-17 where he put up a .916 save% with a 2.64 GAA. Kinkaid has also been pretty consistent throughout his NHL career.
Recently his numbers have declined but going to a new team may help him find his game again. Keith has shown that he can be a solid NHL goaltender in his career. He just needs to find his game again. Kinkaid was sent down to the AHL near the end of the shortened regular season. He struggled with Laval but ended up playing well with Charlotte. Keith Kinkaid has the ability to be an elite starter so maybe the Ducks will take a chance on him.
The backup position is a very important position so the Ducks will have to really make the right decision when it comes to picking a backup goaltender.
The goalie that steps into the position has some pretty big shoes to fill because of Ryan Miller’s impressive performance in his time with the Ducks.
We’ll have to wait and see who the Ducks pick for the backup position due to Free Agency being delayed.
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