GM Holland: Oilers have ‘got to get’ a goalie

Posted: 10/07/2022 in NHL
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Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland is well aware that acquiring another goaltender should be his priority this offseason.

“I need one. I’ve got to get one. It’s as simple as that,” Holland said Friday following the 2022 NHL Draft, according to NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger. “There’s a lot of things we’d like to get done, but none of that can really be addressed until the goalie situation gets ironed out. That’s the focus.”

Edmonton’s outlook in the crease has thinned out considerably. Backup netminder Mikko Koskinen is headed overseas after signing with Lugano in Switzerland’s National League. Starter Mike Smith‘s future is uncertain after injuries limited him to just 28 regular-season appearances in 2021-22.

One option is youngster Stuart Skinner, who authored a .913 save percentage and 2.62 goals-against average in 13 showings last season. However, Holland isn’t ready to put all his eggs into the inexperienced Skinner’s basket.

“We’re pleased with the way Stuart has developed and played,” Holland said. “But he’s the only goalie we’ve got right now, and at best, he’s a 1B.”

A few potential targets were taken off the board over the past two days. Marc-Andre Fleury re-upped with the Minnesota Wild, while Ville Husso signed with the Detroit Red Wings. But, pending unrestricted free agents Darcy Kuemper and Jack Campbell may still be available when the market opens on July 13.

The Oilers gained some extra wiggle room after shipping Zack Kassian and his $3.2-million cap hit to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. Veteran defenseman Duncan Keith is reportedly set to retire, so his cap hit of $5.534 million would also come off the books.

Edmonton has decisions to make on pending restricted free agents Kailer YamamotoJesse Puljujarvi, and Ryan McLeod, while Evander Kane and Brett Kulak are set to become unrestricted free agents.

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