Wings still in market for a backup goalie

DETROIT – The Fourth of July came and went without the Wings finding one of the missing pieces general manager Ken Holland went looking for when free agency opened last Friday – a backup goalie.

“There’s nothing new to report,” Holland told The Macomb Daily on Monday. “Obviously that’s our top priority over the next few days.”

There was one goalie taken off the market Monday when Phoenix signed Curtis McElhinney.

After the first day of free agency came and went, Tomas Vokoun remained available and seemed like a viable option. On Saturday, Vokoun, 34, decided to sign a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals for $1.5 million.

The list of remaining quality backups is headed by Ty Conklin, Ray Emery and Marty Turco.

A source told The Macomb Daily on Saturday that the Wings have been talking with Conklin.

Conklin played one season with Detroit (2008-09) and recorded a career-high 25 wins, going 25-11-2 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage.
He played the last two seasons with the St. Louis Blues in a backup role, struggling last year with a record of 8-8-4 and a 3.22 goals-against average and .881 save percentage.

Conklin, who was not claimed when the Blues placed him on waivers last February, made $1.4 million last season.

Turco struggled in his only season with the Chicago Blackhawks, losing the starting job to Corey Crawford. Turco was 11-11-3 with a 3.02 goals against average and a .897 save percentage.

Emery returned to the NHL last season after playing a year in Russia and helped get the Anaheim Ducks into the playoffs. He went 7-2-0 with a 2.28 goals against average and a .926 save percentage.

Emery was a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the player that exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Chris Osgood is also an option according to Holland.

“Osgood is interested in playing,” Holland said earlier in the week. “In goal we explored three or four guys. They all signed elsewhere and they all went for opportunity. They went where they went because they think there is opportunity to be a No. 1 or be a No. 1 in a year or two.”

Osgood had sports hernia surgery last year and suffered a few setbacks along his recover. He last played on Jan. 4.

“We’ve got (Jimmy Howard) who’s in the prime of his career and we think he’s going to be a good goaltender in this league,” Holland said. “He was a better goaltender last season compared to the year before and he’s going to be better this year.”

Holland said he’ll talk to Osgood when he returns from a golf trip the team gave him for winning his 400th career game last season.

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