Hand up, forgot already to make the first Friday poll last week after promising it two weeks ago, so we are off to a fast start with this feature. All things considered though, it’s going to be a long summer for the Penguins so we have a ways to go yet. Please remember to add suggestions as you get them for future polls.
We’re sticking with the goaltender question for now, if only because it’s one of the few topics that are very open-ended with a lot of different choices and no real sense until a new general manager is installed as to what could actually happen. It’s a blank slate for imagination.
For a peak behind the curtain, here is the rationale on some others executive decisions that were made: not listed below will be Marc-Andre Fleury (sorry, gang) who has stated his intentions are to play in Minnesota again next season and not move his family another time. There has been no actual indication that Juuse Saros would be made available by Nashville, but recent public comments from Connor Hellebuyck about Winnipeg put him in a different light.
We’re including a pair of restricted free agents in Filip Gustavsson and Jeremy Swayman, given they might be looking to move up in role and their respective teams are both in a salary cap crunches. I am not going to include Semyon Varlamov (35) and Antti Raanta (34 soon) who through age, recent number of games played and sometimes injury factors are not going to be considered viable “No. 1 NHL goalie” material for next season.
With some of that insight on why some candidates were selected or not, let’s point out that you should be keeping in mind exactly what your preference means for the big picture. Signing an unrestricted free agent might mean a lesser talented goalie, but it also requires giving up no assets. But signing a UFA goalie could come at a higher cap hit and longer term than acquiring a younger RFA goalie. Similarly, trading to bring in a goalie might be costly in assets to give up given the specific netminder — or it might not be a high trade price yet come with an unsightly cap hit for the Pens to absorb in return. Consider all of these factors in addition to simply which goalie you might think would be the best on the ice (though, naturally, that should be a leading factor too).
Goalies are listed in no particular order, just put Jarry at the top of the line since he’s the incumbent and first decision to make will be if the team is interested in retaining him or not. Then all the trade candidates, followed by free agents.
Of these candidates, which one would be your first choice for Penguins starting goalie in 2023-24?
This poll is closed
Tristan Jarry (re-sign)
John Gibson (trade, for likely little cost but at a large cap hit)
Connor Hellebuyck (trade, for likely a hefty return to Winnipeg)
Karel Vejmelka (trade, for a decent return at minimum to Arizona)
Thatcher Demko (trade, potentially not a lot given VAN cap situation)
Filip Gustavsson (RFA, but likely via a trade of futures)
Jeremy Swayman (RFA, but likely via a trade of futures)
Joonas Korpisalo (UFA signing)
Frederik Andersen (UFA signing)