When it comes time in your fantasy hockey draft to select a goalie, one critical thing to be wary of is goalies sharing time in net. You might be drafting a stud with a 2.1 GAA, but if he only gets 50 starts, it's going to hurt you in the long run. So here a handful of teams that have a cloudy picture between the pipes, and what it should mean for you at the draft table.
TORONTO - Toskala/Gustavsson
Toskala faced the same handicap when he split time in San Jose, only this time, his space is being crowded by a new guy from overseas. Gustavsson is a big unknown, but the situation seems to indicate that he's going to start a good number of games. Then again, it doesn’t mean Toskala should be shown the door. He's a still a very good goalie and either one could put up some good numbers on a Toronto team that promises to be tough on defense for the first time in many, many years.
ANAHEIM - Hiller/Giguere
While it seems on the surface that Hiller should be the undisputed #1 based on his amazing playoff run, the fact is, Giguere is a huge cap hit and he's still got talent. Similar to what almost played out in Chicago last year, it's possible that the Ducks would look to shop Giggy, but to do that, he has to get in some games. Expect this to be a steady rotation for the first half of the season until someone gets hurt, dealt, or emerges as an undisputed #1.
NY ISLANDERS - DiPietro/Roloson/Biron
The first #1 goalie threesome in recent memory. Don't be surprised to hear the term 1C emerge at some point. Even if DiPietro does the expected and sits in the E.R for half the year, there's no clear cut winner among the other 2. Roloson is surely winding down his career, but may be good for a run here and there. It's somewhat shocking that Biron couldn't land a better situation than this. He still has a chance to emerge as a #1 goalie someday. Regardless of all that, do you really want an Islanders goalie on your roster? Didn't think so.
NASHVILLE - Rinne/Ellis
The Predators have a history now of burning through the goalie of the month club. Every season a hot hand emerges to push out last year's hot hand. Will Rinne be the one to break the mold? Unlike with Vokoun and Mason, Ellis actually stuck around to confuse the situation. Expect him to get a good number of starts this season, which should lower the value of Rinne on your draft list. And don't be afraid to take a chance on Ellis with a very late pick.
WASHINGTON - Varlamov/Theodore
Again, the general public has all but forgotten Theodore once again and have crowned Varlamov the starting goalie in Washington for the next five years. Put things in perspective. He was hot for a couple weeks, then showed a weak glove hand against the Pens. You didn't see guys lining up to draft Brian Boucher, even after his 5 game shutout streak a few years back. (though, I'm tempting to draft him as a Flyer this year). Yes Varlamov has been on the radar for some time as an up and coming goalie. Just don't get silly and place him in your top 10.
LOS ANGELES - Quick/Ersberg
Let's face it, you're not interested in drafting a goalie from the Kings anyway. But if you were, it's not worth taking a chance on either guy being the #1. Let it play out for a month or so and pick up the winner as a free agent around Thanksgiving. He's still be available, and you won't look silly at the draft.
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