The recent signings of Antti Niemi, Jimmy Howard and Craig Anderson were of interest to many hockey observers. You could argue these goalies have similar talent levels, and yet each player received a different contract.
Most analysts would agree that Tomas Vokoun is a better netminder than any of the three aforementioned names. Coincidentally, Vokoun is also a pending UFA, as the three above goaltenders were when they signed their three respective contracts.
The two biggest distinctions between Vokoun and Niemi/Howard/Anderson are age and productivity. Vokoun, unlike the other three, is over 30 years old (34 in fact). Yet in terms of productivity, Vokoun has been amongst the top goaltenders statistically for the past half decadewe will examine these numbers in depth in a few paragraphs.
Before we examine what Vokoun could be worth, let's first examine which teams will likely have a need in between the pipes entering the summer. For simplicity's sake, I am not including teams that may have a need (see: Edmonton, Columbus and New York Islanders) but have already locked up big money in their current netminding situation (Khabibulin, Mason and DiPietro). That arguably leaves only seven teams that have a goaltending need heading into the offseason: Colorado, Phoenix, Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto, Florida and Tampa Bay.