2014 Outlook: Brought in to potentially take over the Flames' goaltending torch from countryman Miikka Kiprusoff, Ramo is no sure bet to win the job over Joey MacDonald; he hasn't played in an NHL game since the 2008-09 season. Although Ramo hasn't been facing NHL-level competition in the meantime, he has been pretty dominant in the KHL during that span, generating a .923 save percentage in four seasons of work. Worth a late-round flier, but it's hard to project him being much more than a No. 2 in fantasy at best.
2014 Outlook: The historic career of Martin Brodeur may finally be reaching its end after the 2013-14 campaign, and unlike some teams who did not plan well for the eventual exit of their franchise icon, the Devils secured themselves an heir apparent in Cory Schneider this offseason. Now, the question is how much of No. 30 we'll actually be seeing in what could be his swansong in the NHL. The Devils have kept their lips sealed on this one, but one would imagine that the split will lean in favor of Schneider. The positive spin on this is that Brodeur will be fresher on the nights that he does get the nod, so he has some value as a rotational option, with No. 2 upside.
2014 Outlook: As is often the case with young players (and young goalies in particular), inconsistency has been an issue for the uber-talented Pavelec. His final seasonal ratio numbers over the past three campaigns as the primary starter for the Winnipeg franchise have been mediocre -- 2.73/.914, 2.91/.906 and 2.80/.905, respectively -- but that doesn't tell the whole story, as he'll have stretches where he looks unbeatable. As such, those who take the "set it, and forget it" approach to their roster won't be too happy. However, for those who are more meticulous about riding hot streaks, Pavelec is a great option, and he can be secured somewhat late in drafts, owing to those overall unimpressive numbers. And who knows, maybe this is the season where he finally finds that elusive consistency, and can maintain his streaks of dominance for more of the campaign.
2014 Outlook: After a very promising start to his NHL career -- including a Calder Trophy following an impressive 33-win rookie season in 2008-09 -- Mason looked like he was the next Andrew Raycroft: his numbers had slipped season-by-season, and given what Sergei Bobrovsky was doing for Columbus, he had little upside beyond an occasional spot-start. Then, he was traded to Philly, and it was a renaissance: in seven appearances, he went 4-2-0, with a 1.90 goals-against average and .944 save percentage. The goaltending duties will not be entirely on Mason this season in Philly, as they brought Ray Emery back as well, but the team has to like what they've seen out of Mason thus far. He can be drafted as a low-end No. 2 or a rotational option, but has high-end No. 2 upside.
2014 Outlook: One of the top goaltenders in the world that currently doesn't have a No. 1 gig in the NHL, Lehner proved in 2013 that all the hype surrounding him is legit: though he played in just 12 games, he produced enough in that time to land in the No. 15 spot on the Player Rater. His 2.20 goals-against average and .936 save percentage offer a taste of what Lehner can bring to the Sens on the nights that Craig Anderson needs a breather, as well as a glimpse into what Lehner will do once Anderson is out of the picture (the elder's deal runs through 2014-15). One of the top real-life backups for fantasy purposes, he's a great rotational option, and should also be considered as a No. 2 option.
2014 Outlook: The future has arrived in Florida. After persistent rumors this offseason that Roberto Luongo would be returning to the Sunshine State via trade, that possibility ended after teammate Cory Schneider was dealt to New Jersey. The good news for Florida is that they happen to have a pretty strong young player between the pipes in Markstrom. Markstrom was far from perfect in 2013 -- as his final ratios of 3.22 and .901 will readily display -- however, if we take only his starts from February and March (of which there were 13), those ratios were 2.64 and .919. Obviously, that slice doesn't tell the whole story, but it does show that the 23-year-old has the talent to dominate for stretches at this level. He'll be available in the middle rounds of drafts, and should be snagged for that delicious upside.
2014 Outlook: Of the three netminders that will likely prowl the crease for the Blues this season, Allen is the only one whose contract extends into the time thereafter. That doesn't necessarily mean that he'll be given extra opportunities, but based upon the brief glimpse we saw in 2013, he certainly belongs in front of an NHL goal. Allen's final numbers aren't remarkable -- a 2.46 goals-against average and .905 save percentage -- but it is notable that he won 9 of his 13 starts, including five in a row at one point. For now in standard leagues, he's worth a late-round flier on the chance that things change and he's given a bigger role. In keeper leagues, however, his value is higher, as the club will return a great deal of their core for 2014-15 and Allen may well be their No. 1 by that point.
2014 Outlook: After another playoff meltdown by Marc-Andre Fleury, Vokoun was brought in as the Pens' starter, and played quite admirably -- in 11 playoff games, he posted a 2.01 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. However, it's the regular season with which we concern ourselves, and there's no guarantee that he'll produce up to that level, nor is there any guarantee that he'll even have the chance. The Pens remain committed to Fleury as their franchise netminder, so Vokoun's work will come as the lower half of a timeshare. That noted, he is one of the more reliable options as a rotational player in fantasy, so he's worth a late-round pick, especially given his upside if Fleury doesn't turn things around. After all, if Vokoun winds up being the Pens' No. 1, he'll be in line to be a fantasy No. 1 as well.
2014 Outlook: After posting better ratios than Ryan Miller during the 2013 season -- albeit in significantly fewer appearances -- it's clear that Enroth is the future of the goaltending position in Buffalo. It's just a matter of when the team is able to find a trade partner to take on the veteran. Enroth has the talent, it's just a matter of whether he can hold up through a bigger workload. He's worthy of a late-round flier on the chances that the Sabres find a suitor for Miller prior to the season.
2014 Outlook: Brought in to serve as the reliable backup to Semyon Varlamov, Jiggy wound up out-performing the youngster during the 2013 campaign, to the tune of a 2.84 goals-against average and .908 save percentage, figures that were actually worse than his initial campaign in the Rockies (when he posted a 2.28 and .919, respectively). Giguere is obviously one of the more talented backups in the league, but his production in fantasy may be limited to the ratio categories, as the Avs did little to improve their roster this offseason (aside from hiring a new coach). Still, on the hopes that the team does improve -- and that Giguere will get up to 30 starts for Patrick Roy -- he's worth a late-round flier.
2014 Outlook: The last time we saw Tim Thomas in an NHL game was the closing matchup of the playoff series against Washington following the 2011-12 season. Thomas and the Bruins had just lost, and he quickly skated off the ice. After posting on his Facebook page that he was taking the 2012-13 season off to spend more time with family, he indicated this offseason that he was now open to a comeback. Thus far, there have been no bites on that line, though it's possible he'll be invited to a camp on a tryout basis -- there are plenty of teams around the league for whom Thomas would be an upgrade either as a starter or backup. Remember, this is a recent Vezina Trophy winner, a player capable of carrying a team on his back. Snag him with a late-round pick, and stash him on your bench just in case.
2014 Outlook: One of the players whose contract was bought out this offseason, Bryzgalov has been working out with teams overseas in an effort to keep himself ready should an NHL team come calling. It's hard to project which team that would be, though restarting his career in a market that is lower-profile than Philadelphia could do wonders. Remember: it wasn't just Dave Tippett's system in Phoenix that led Bryz to those great numbers, he was also quite productive as an Anaheim Duck. If you're willing to absorb the risk in giving up a roster spot, a late-round flier on Bryz has the potential to turn into a valuable fantasy asset this season.
2014 Outlook: There's been no official retirement announcement yet for the legendary Finnish backstop, but there have been hints dropped all offseason that this will be the outcome. If Kipper does decide to come back for the final season on his contract, it's tough to argue that he'd be worth much consideration in fantasy, as his numbers in 2013 were pretty dreadful -- eight wins in 24 starts, with a 3.44 goals-against average and .882 save percentage.