Free-agent goalies Quick, Brossoit move on from Golden Knights

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Laurent Brossoit adjusts his helmet during the third period of...
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Laurent Brossoit adjusts his helmet during the third period of Game 5 of the team's NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, April 27, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)(David Becker | AP)
Published: Jul. 3, 2023 at 10:11 AM PDT
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(AP) -- Even with not a lot of money to go around and after Vegas won the Stanley Cup with a surprise starting goaltender, NHL contenders showed on the first day of free agency that they’re willing to spend to keep or find reliable help in net.

The Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday re-signed two-time All-Star Tristan Jarry to a five-year contract worth just under $27 million, the Ottawa Senators added Joonas Korpisalo for $20 million over five years, and the New York Islanders extended franchise goalie Ilya Sorokin to an eight-year, $66 million deal through 2032.

Jarry will average $5.375 million a year on this contract, which new Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas was comfortable signing after meeting with the 28-year-old in Edmonton recently and talking through expectations.

“And at his age, as well, within looking at the marketplace, we just felt it was the best bet to make for our club at this time,” Dubas said.

The Carolina Hurricanes made smaller bets in retaining their veteran tandem of Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta that helped them reach the playoffs each of the past two seasons. Andersen got $6.8 million over two years and Raanta $1.5 million for 2023-24, and the team still has young Pyotr Kochetkov waiting in the wings as the goalie of the future.

“We don’t have a ton of money (invested in goal),” general manager Don Waddell said. “There’s a lot of goalies and league starters that make more than all three of those guys, so if we were going to bring them back, I felt that we needed the insurance to have all three of them back.”

Andersen, Raanta and Kochetkov combine to count, at most, $5.9 million against the salary cap next season. Seven different goalies have a higher number by themselves.

Sorokin will at $8.25 million when his new contract kicks in for the 2024-25 season, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because terms were not announced. That’s the going rate for a Vezina Trophy finalist who will be just 29 years old when the deal starts.

The Islanders also brought back Semyon Varlamov on an $11 million, four-year deal to keep Sorokin’s longtime partner around.

Other teams went more of a bargain route in goal, including the New York Rangers signing two-time Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Quick to a one-year contract worth $825,000, with another $100,000 in potential incentives. Quick, the playoff MVP when Los Angeles won in 2012, is coming off backing up Adin Hill when Vegas hoisted the Cup for the first time this past season.

Quick, a Connecticut native, now takes over as 2022 Vezina winner Igor Shesterkin’s backup. Rangers GM Chris Drury expects Quick’s transition to be seamless.

“He obviously knows all about (Shesterkin) and his accomplishments and I think he’s ready to take on a role of mentor — similar to what he did in Vegas,” Drury said. “And I’m excited to have him.”

Pittsburgh also signed Alex Nedjelkovic for depth in goal at $1.5 million. That’s the same Detroit signed James Reimer for, while also signing ex-Florida goalie Alex Lyon for $1.8 million over two years.

Out West, Los Angeles signed Cam Talbot to a one-year contract worth $1 million, with $1 million more in potential incentives, and rival San Jose gave Mackenzie Blackwood $4.7 million over the next two seasons after acquiring his rights from New Jersey.

The goalie shuffle Saturday came after Hill re-signed for two years and $9.8 million with Vegas. Laurent Brossoit, who started the playoffs for the Golden Knights before being injured and replaced by Hill during the second round, returned to Winnipeg for $1.75 million.

The Jets hold the keys to the next big goalie development, with 2020 Vezina winner Connor Hellebuyck expected to be traded at some point before he’s a free agent next summer.