3 free agent goalies the Bruins should consider signing for 2021-22.
1. Pekka Rinne
A career Nashville Predator and once considered one of the best goaltenders in the league, Pekka Rinne has fallen off a bit over the last two seasons. In 60 games (56 starts), Rinne has recorded just a .900 SV%, 3.01 GAA, .514 QS%, and five shutouts.
However, with Rinne getting up there in age (will be 39 in November) and Nashville not being the defensive juggernaut they were a few years ago, a decline in Rinne’s performance isn’t very surprising.
2019-20 was Rinne’s worst season in his career. It’s the only season in his career where he had a SV% under .900 and a GAA above 3.00 (not counting 2005-06 where he only played two games). However, this season could be blamed on several things. The Preds were middle-of-the-pack when it came to defense, but Rinne’s abysmal GSAA of -14.2 and QS% of .457 don’t do him any justice.
This season, however, now in a backup role to Juuse Saros, Rinne had a much better season. His SV% was a .907, GAA a 2.84, QS% a .571, and GSAA just slightly below average at -0.8.
While I think Rinne could still thrive in an elite defensive system like Boston has, it’s more of a matter in what Rinne wants to do.
After finishing the season with a shutout, Rinne said he doesn’t want to retire just yet. However, he also made it sound like he doesn’t want to play for anyone but Nashville, except maybe a team in his home country of Finland.
But, with that said, I think if the B’s offered Rinne a one-year contract to platoon with either Swayman or Vladar then fall behind Rask, he would gladly accept it. Rinne has had a hall-of-fame career, but has yet to win a Stanley Cup. Boston could give a much better chance at winning a Cup than Nashville. Although he most likely wouldn’t be the starter, he would still win a Cup.
I think his situation is similar to Henrik Lundqvist’s, expect for the fact that Lundqvist was bought out by the Rangers and didn’t have an option to return to the team that he spent his entire career on. But, they’re both hall-of-fame goaltenders without a Cup at the ends of their careers that could be playing for a different team for the first time in their career.
Overall, I truly think that going with two rookie goaltenders for half the season (if Rask is re-signed) is too much of a risk if the Bruins are trying to win the Cup next season. A veteran free agent should be brought in, unless Halak is re-signed.