Arizona Coyotes and the strange situation of who will play the goalkeeper

Karel Vejmelka CLOSED TO PLAY FOR Arizona Coyotes In the 2022/23 season, however, the team has some stark questions to answer for their overall tandem.

Joining a team looking to tank isn’t easy, and Vejmelka did his best for the Arizona Coyotes during his rookie NHL campaign.

The Czech goalkeeper made 53 appearances last season, scoring a record 13-32-3, 3.68 goals against average, and 898 goals during that time.

Coyotes won’t be expected to be more competitive this season, with the likes of Conor Bedard or Matvey Michkov potentially taking the prize eventually.

However, the team still needs two side-keepers throughout the season, giving Vejmelka some competition for the starting role or at least a backup who can step in when necessary – so what will Bill Armstrong do?

Free agency dried up quickly, as it usually does, leaving very few names available for the Coyotes to consider signing – although there is only one name left that may be looking for an opportunity after several tough seasons.

Braden Holtby remains an unrestricted free agent after 22 games with the Dallas Stars last season, his third team in three seasons.

Holtby, 32, had good enough stats during those starts, with 0.913 saves and 2.78 goals-to-average.

The market appears rather barren for the former Vezina Cup winner, but Coyotes could offer him a chance to play meaningful minutes in the NHL, with the possibility of transferring him to a competitor on the trade deadline.

Other goalkeepers who played NHL games last season include Andrew Hammond, Garrett Sparks, Jean-Francois Piroubi and Corey Sneijder, so options for the team are limited.

A trade could be another way to bring in a goalkeeper, and potentially get you a contract that another team is eager to give up – something Armstrong could use to his advantage and earn more trial capital, but if a deal were to be made it probably would. Already yet.

This leaves Wolves with goalkeepers occupying spots on the roster with Tucson Roadrunners as the only way left to add a goalkeeper to the roster, with Ivan Prosvetov the lead candidate, along with Jon Gillies – who has played 20 NHL games with the New Jersey Devils and St. Louis Blues last season.

It’s an exciting time for the Arizona Coyotes, who are continuing the process of transition and rebuilding, and filling in the gaps will be a key objective as the team looks to build a truly competitive team for the future.

But for now, the immediate question will be who will be the partners of Vijmelka among the tubes next season.

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