Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What is Washington's goal?

So it appears right now that Jose Theodore will not be returning to the Washington Capitals next season.

Capitals' are faced with either going with their two young gun netminders in Semyon Varlamov and Michael Neuvirth or bringing in another veteran from Unrestricted Free Agency.

Some of the available goalies the Capitals' have to pick from:

Evgeni Nabokov (San Jose)
Dan Ellis (Nashville)
Chris Mason (St. Louis)
Marty Turco (Dallas)
Ray Emery (Philadelphia)
Johan Hedberg (Atlanta)
Antero Niittymaki (Tampa Bay)
Vesa Toskala (Calgary)
Andrew Raycroft (Vancouver)

Personally I would go with picking either Dan Ellis, Marty Turco, or Antero Niittymaki for the position in Washington.

Dan Ellis is testing the market after the Predators re-signed Pekka Rinne for a 2 year $6.8 million contract. The two of them made a great goaltending combination that finished the season just two points behind the Detroit Red Wings (and 12 points behind the division lead Chicago Blackhawks) in the central division.

Marty Turco has only won one game inside of Joe Louis Arena in Detroit in his entire NHL career; however, the Capitals being in the Eastern Conference and not the Western Conference like the Dallas Stars that stat isn't going to play much of a roll (unless the teams meet in the Stanley Cup Finals - that might me awkward). Turco (along with Martin Brodeur) is one of the best puck-handling goalies in the NHL and lets face it getting the puck to Alexander Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom good things tend to happen.

Antero Niittymaki brings with him two Olympic medals. Winning the bronze medal in the 2010 Vancouver and the Silver medal (and tournament MVP) in 2006 when he was the starter for the Finnish team. Also important for the Capitals' (being in the Southeast division) Niittymaki has a career record being 17-0-0 against the Atlanta Thrashers.

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