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So far, movement toward goaltending bargains

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  July 1, 2010 03:05 PM

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Considering the goalies who have signed so far -- Antero Niittymaki in San Jose, Martin Biron in New York, Dan Ellis in Tampa Bay, Alex Auld in Montreal -- general managers are shying away from big-ticket puckstoppers such as Evgeni Nabokov and Marty Turco.

Which, in turn, doesn't lead to many options for the Bruins trading Tim Thomas.

During a conference call in which he discussed the signing of Niittymaki to a two-year, $4 million contract, San Jose GM Doug Wilson referred to recent goalies such as Antti Niemi, Michael Leighton, Craig Anderson, and Jaroslav Halak as being at the forefront of the movement toward younger, more inexpensive netminders. Niittymaki, Thomas Greiss, Alex Stalock, and Harri Sateri will compete for the two jobs in camp.

"That's been going on for five years," Wilson said. "With the new system and the new set of rules, you can go all the way back to when Cam Ward won the Cup in Carolina. You saw Detroit going the route of [Chris] Osgood instead of high-end goaltenders. The type of goalies who have gotten it done in the rules and system -- you mentioned Niemi and Leighton -- that's really what's happened. When we talk to our guys and our staff, we take a look at what it is before who. What it is includes the style of goaltending in the dedication of dollars. And the ages of guys. You're always looking for the next Niemi, Anderson, [Jonas] Hiller. This is the player we really liked. That's what's happening in this league right now."

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