Skip to content

2016-17 Fantasy Goalie Primer: Who moved, and who benefits?

Debora Robinson / National Hockey League / Getty

Several goalies have a new home entering the 2016-17 NHL season. Not only do their fantasy hockey outlooks change, but so do those of players either taking over a starting job or being bumped from starter's duty. Here's a look at the most notable changes and what they mean to fantasy owners:

Who moved: Frederik Andersen, from Anaheim Ducks to Toronto Maple Leafs
Others affected: Jonathan Bernier, John Gibson

Andersen and Gibson were in one of the league's most even timeshares in 2015-16, with Andersen starting 37 games and Gibson starting 38 (Anton Khudobin started the other seven games for Anaheim). Both goalies saw some ups and downs throughout the season, finishing the season with nearly identical numbers.

Andersen posted a .919 save percentage and a 2.30 goals against average. He compiled a record of 22-9-7 with three shutouts. Gibson, finished with a save percentage of .920, 2.07 GAA and record of 21-13-4 with four shutouts. In the end, the Ducks opted to hand the job to Gibson, who's three years younger than Andersen.

Gibson enters the new season with significantly more value. The Leafs finished last in the league last season, while the Ducks won 46 games en route to winning the Pacific Division. The Maple Leafs' future is finally promising, but they're unlikely to improve significantly on their 29 wins from a year ago, and failed to fix a very weak defensive corps in free agency.

Bernier saw his value erased last season due to poor play. He made just 36 starts, and posted a .908 SV% and 2.88 GAA. He picked up three shutouts but just 12 victories. He'll have no season-long value as a pure backup in Anaheim, but he could be a frequent DFS consideration when he starts, due to the Ducks' strong defensive system.

Who moved: Brian Elliott, from St. Louis Blues to Calgary Flames
Others affected: Jake Allen, Chad Johnson, Carter Hutton

After allowing more goals than any other team in 2015-16, the Flames took significant steps to address their goaltending situation in free agency. They've moved on from the trio of Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo, and Joni Ortio, who combined to make 79 starts last year.

Elliott comes out of a timeshare with Allen in St. Louis, and he's expected to start the vast majority of games, with Johnson as clear backup.

Elliott has never started more than 48 games in a season, and he started just 38 last year. He benefited from staying fresh, posting a .930 SV% and 2.07 GAA last season. Johnson started a career-high 40 games last year, with Buffalo Sabres starter Robin Lehner injured much of the year. Johnson was more than serviceable, recording a .920 SV% and 2.36 GAA.

Elliott can be drafted as a third or fourth goalie, while Johnson possesses no season-long value when Elliott is healthy.

Allen is the big winner, as he'll build on his career-high 44 starts from last year. Former Nashville Predators backup Hutton will serve as the new No. 2 in St. Louis.

Backup Swaps

  • Florida Panthers: The Panthers let 2015-16 backup Al Montoya depart in free agency and brought in James Reimer (formerly of the Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks) to serve as the backup to Roberto Luongo. Reimer holds little value entering the season, with the resurgent Luongo a safe bet to see a number similar to his 60 starts from last season.
  • Montreal Canadiens: The Canadiens' lack of goaltending depth was exposed last season, after starter Carey Price went down to injury. They addressed the issue by adding Montoya, following his breakout 2015-16 season, in which he went 12-7-3 in 22 starts, posting a .919 SV% and 2.18 GAA. While Price is likely to lead the league in starts, Montoya could be worthy of DFS consideration.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox