Just when you thought the goaltending conversation in New Jersey was over, an interesting little wrinkle appears. The Devils are heading into the 2022-23 regular season with a goaltending tandem of Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid. However, according to a report, there’s mention of a possibility that although the season might start that way, it may not end that way. According to Sportsnet’s insider, the Devils continue to search for goaltending.
On the latest 32 Thoughts the Podcast, Elliotte Friedman mentions that the Devils’ GM is, in fact, still checking in on goaltending.
“I think we’re all wondering about the goaltending,” Friedman mentioned to Jeff Marek. “Do they go through with Vanecek and Schmid all year? Do they go add someone else? I think (General Manager Tom) Fitzgerald has continued to look around on it. But, he’s got a bit of time to figure this out. They really like their group. They’re gonna score a lot. I think they’re committed to doing the right things to win. There’s not a lot to dislike here.”
It shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that Fitzgerald continues to scour the goaltending market. The Devils GM had an incredible summer and he’s not about to kick his feet up.
However, the search for goaltending isn’t imminent. The Devils will start the season with Vanecek and Schmid. Last season, Vanecek played very well in the regular season helping New Jersey claim 33 wins and third place overall in the league. Schmid’s arrival was a pleasant surprise, and the organization does, in fact, believe he has starting potential.
However, it’s a wait-and-see approach for New Jersey. By the time the NHL Trade Deadline rolls around in 2024, the Devils find themselves without the need to add a goalie. Vanecek has been adamant that his new mindset will make him more consistent. Schmid showed in the preseason his continued calm, cool, and collected approach in the crease. Fitzgerald even has Erik Kallgren, who showed quite well in the preseason, at his disposal in Utica. And there’s even Keith Kinkaid who is back in New Jersey.
Here’s what we do know. We know Fitzgerald looked at all of Connor Hellebuyck, Jusse Saros, and John Gibson in the summer. We also know their cost of acquisition is too high.
All things considered, the Devils are fine with the wait-and-see approach. Unless something Fitzgerald absolutely can’t turn down comes across his plate, don’t expect this to transpire anytime soon.