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Three Goaltenders Moved On Trade Deadline Day

The 2017 NHL trading deadline has come and gone. While a handful of impactful moves were made, 20 overall, only three goaltenders ended up switching teams.

Marc-André Fleury will remain with the Penguins…for now

Big names like Marc-André Fleury and Ryan Miller were being discussed leading up to the deadline, and teams like the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and San Jose Sharks were rumoured to be looking to add a goaltender – but neither of them were moved, and none of those teams ended up making a move for goaltending.

Ben Bishop, Peter Budaj, and Pheonix Copley were all moved in deals prior to the deadline, but NHL teams were shockingly quiet on the trade front as the the 3 PM ET deadline passed.

With Semyon Varlamov out for the rest of the season, and Jeremy Smith up with the big club splitting games with Calvin Pickard, the Colorado Avalanche acquired Joe Cannata from the Washington Capitals. Cannata had been displaced in Hershey because of the acquisition of Copley, and he fills an AHL need for the Avs. Defenceman Cody Corbett was sent to Washington on the other side of the deal.

Adam Wilcox was called up once by the Lightning, but never appeared in a game for the team that drafted him.

The only other trade involving goaltenders on the day turned out to be a swapping of AHL netminders. The Florida Panthers traded (InGoal contributor) Mike McKenna to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Adam Wilcox. The 33-year-old McKenna returns to the Lightning organization, who he appeared in 15 NHL games with back in 2008-2009. The Springfield Falcons do not currently sit in a playoff spot, but the Syracuse Crunch are first-place in the AHL’s North Division, despite having an even goal differential. This trade affords McKenna a chance to play in the Calder Cup playoffs, and adds more experience to the Crunch’s goaltending tandem alongside Kristers Gudlevskis.

It’s a bit surprising to see the Lightning give up on Wilcox, who is still only 24 years old, and is in his second year of professional hockey. The former University of Minnesota Gopher hasn’t lived up to his potential since leaving school, posting a .891 in 27 games last season with Syracuse, and a slightly better .895 in 34 games this season. Wilcox is a restricted free agent after this season, and should remain under Panthers control through his next contract. McKenna is an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of this season.

The Vancouver Canucks will now need to decide what to do with Miller, who is an impending unrestricted free agent. He has expressed his desire to stay on the west coast, so an extension is possible, but he could end up signing elsewhere in the conference at the conclusion of the season.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are in an even tougher situation with Fleury, who has a no-trade clause and would need to be protected in the expansion draft. More importantly, that would force them to expose Matt Murray. Expect Fleury to be bought out – but a trade is still possible once the Stanley Cup has been handed out. His cap hit and salary is $5.75M through 2018-19.

About The Author

Greg Balloch

Greg Balloch is a Vancouver-based writer, broadcaster, and goaltending coach. His career began in Hamilton, Ontario as the voice of the Junior 'A' Hamilton Red Wings, before moving to Vancouver to cover the Canucks for CISL 650. A lifelong goaltender, he has been teaching the position for over a decade. He is currently an instructor for Pro4 Sports, and is the goaltending consultant for the BCHL's Surrey Eagles.

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