The Detroit Red Wings needed to go out and address their backup goaltending situation. While Alex Nedeljkovic was thought to be a solution, things did not pan out as well as the Red Wings had hoped. On the flip side, Magnus Hellberg was a nice addition on a cheap deal, but the team wanted to upgrade.
The Detroit Red Wings took it upon themselves to go out and find some solutions early on in free agency. They brought in two netminders already to help control the backup situation and provide some aid to Ville Husso.
The Red Wings nearly ran Husso into the ground last season, putting a ton of stress on him in a 1A role, really relying on him. While he said he wants to come back and be more durable in 2023-24, the Red Wings invested in some good players as backup options for the organization to rely on.
That said, let’s dive into the two goalies the Red Wings have brought in…
Detroit Red Wings bring in 2 goalies for the backup spot.
The Red Wings went out and scooped up James Reimer, a veteran netminder, on a one-year, $1.5 million contract to help serve as the team’s backup. Reimer is a 13-year veteran of the NHL and will likely serve as the primary battery mate for Husso out of the gates this fall.
Reimer spent the last two seasons out west with the San Jose Sharks. The now 35-year-old played in 43 games, making 41 starts. He played to a 12-21-8 record with a .890 save percentage and a 3.48 goals-against average.
Certainly not the most exciting numbers, but as a proven veteran of the NHL, he might be able to show a better version of himself in the crease with a better team than San Jose playing in front of him.
It’s not a sure bet for the backup job, as there will likely be some competition, but I’d expect Reimer to be the guy slotted into the role to start the 2023-24 season.
The Red Wings opted to put some stake into another netminder as well. They brought in Alex Lyon on a two-year deal that is worth $1.8 million overall, carrying $900,000 annually. For the Red Wings, it’s an investment piece, hoping that they may have found a diamond in the rough.
Lyon, a 30-year-old netminder, has played in NHL games over parts of the last six seasons. His largest sample size was 2022-23, with the Florida Panthers, where he played in 15 games. He managed a 9-4-2 record while boasting a .912 save percentage and a 2.89 goals-against average. He was a big piece of the puzzle for the Florida Panthers’ efforts this season.
He played in 4 playoff games last season, boasting a less desirable 1-2-0 record, allowing 12 goals on 107 shots against him. Lyon is likely to battle Reimer for the backup role. It could be a solid opportunity for some backup goalie competition, which is certainly healthy.
Nonetheless, the Red Wings have two new faces that will split time as the netminder this upcoming season, and it will be interesting to see how things work out for the Red Wings and who will be Husso’s battery mate.