The Dallas Stars currently have starting goalie Kari Lehtonen locked down for another four years. Lehtonen currently has an average salary of $5.9 million, making him the highest paid member of the team. But who will join the team as the backup netminder?
Throughout the 2013-14 season, Lehtonen played 65 games, making him the most played goalie in the league. He went 33-20-10 and had a 2.41 goals against average and .919 save percentage. Some are saying that the sheer number of games he played was partly to blame for the Stars not making it to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Stars definitely need a good reliever for Lehtonen to have better odds in advancing further next season.
Current backup goalie, Jack Cambell, has been riddled with injures throughout this past season. Relying on him to be ready to go come the 2014-15 season may be a bet the Stars are not willing to take.
Now the question remains, should the Stars begin looking at veterans to sign, or should the club focus it’s efforts on signing a prospective rookie?
Chad Johnson is one possibility. He is currently an unrestricted free agent after going 17-4-3 as the Boston Bruins backup goalie in 2013-14. Another possibility is Devin Dubnyk. After being traded around some, Dubnyk ended up at Hamilton of the American Hockey League where he went 2-5-0 with a 3.33 goals against average and .893 save percentage.
In addition, the Stars signed rookie Henri Kiviaho to an entry-level contract last week. A definite prospect for becoming Lehtonen’s backup, Kiviaho appeared in 13 games last season, recording a 2.92 goals against average and .881 save percentage.
Whichever route the Stars take, Lehtonen is in desperate need of some help taking the team to the top of the league.
[h/t: Sports Day DFW]
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