The Los Angeles Kings received great goaltending from Pheonix Copley in the 2022-23 season.
He played so well that he signed a new 1-year contract to remain with the Kings.
With all of the free-agent goaltenders and some big names, will the Kings have a new starting goaltender next season?
Copley came to Los Angeles in late 2022 and gave the Kings some fresh air between the pipes. Copley finished with a record of 24-6-3 with one shutout, a GAA of 2.64, and a .903 save percentage. Copley came alive to give the Kings’ goaltending position a big boost after they started the season poorly. The Kings made the second round of the playoffs before being eliminated by the Edmonton Oilers. Does Copley remain the starting goaltender, or does general manager Rob Blake have a different way to go?
With the free agent window opening in less than a month, there are some big named goaltenders hitting the market. Whether they are signed or traded for, Blake might want to look at his options to upgrade the goaltending position. With Copley, the Kings have a goaltender who can play the position well and has proved he can play several games within the season.
Some of the free-agent goaltenders who will be out there include Connor Hellebuyck, Jusse Saros, and Carter Hart.
Some other options include Tristan Jarry, Laurent Brossoit, Adin Hill, and Ilya Samsonov.
Hellebuyck is 30 years old and 6-foot-4, and 207 pounds. He was an elite goaltender at one time and is still in the upper half of the league for netminders. He has one year left on his deal with an AAV of $6.166 million.
In the 2022-23 season, Hellebuyck had a record of 37-25-2 with four shutouts, a 2.49 GAA, and a.920 save percentage. He has averaged 30 wins over his NHL career. With the Winnipeg Jets seemingly going to blow it up, Hellebuyck could be there for the Kings for the right offer.
Saros is 28 years old and is 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds. He has 2 years left on his current deal with an AAV of $5 million. Last season, Saros went 33-23-7 with two shutouts.
Saros has only averaged 16 wins per season. However, during his NHL career, Saros only played 30 games a season to start his NHL career.
Hart has struggled over the past few seasons, but the defense of the Philadelphia Flyers was a downgrade from the defense of Los Angeles. He still has upside at age 24 and is a bigger netminder at 6-foot-2 and 181 pounds. He has one year left on his deal with an AAV of $3.979 million.
During last season, Hart recorded a record of 22-23-10 with a GAA of 2.94 and a save percentage of .907. After five years in the league, he has averaged 17 wins per season. A change of scenery could do Hart some good, and Blake may be willing to take a chance on him.
Photo: Brooks Bratten/NHL.com