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Goaltending Market Heats Up As NHL Free Agency Approaches

When the free agency market opens on Wednesday, Darcy Kuemper and Jack Campbell will be the top targets for clubs in the market for goaltending upgrades.
Darcy Kuemper

The NHL's annual free-agent period begins at noon ET on July 13. When it does, Darcy Kuemper and Jack Campbell will be the top targets for clubs in the market for goaltending upgrades.

Kuemper's tenure with the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche ended when they acquired Alex Georgiev from the New York Rangers last Thursday. TSN's Darren Dreger reported the 32-year-old netminder seeks a deal comparable to Philipp Grubauer's six-year contract with the Seattle Kraken paying out $5.9-million annually.

Kuemper's Stanley Cup experience makes him an enticing free-agent target. The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun believes he'd be a good fit with the Washington Capitals. The Edmonton Oilers could also attempt to sign him.

Cap Friendly indicates the 30-year-old Campbell is completing a two-year contract with an annual average value of $1.65 million. He could seek a five-year deal worth $5 million per season.

TSN's Chris Johnston reported last Friday that Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas intended to meet with Campbell in hope of negotiating a new contract before the free-agent market opens on Wednesday. However, his colleague Dreger indicates the meeting failed to produce results. Dubas is reportedly in trade discussions with the Ottawa Senators about acquiring Matt Murray.

Campbell won't lack suitors on the open market. The Oilers could come calling if they fail to land Kuemper. The New York Post's Larry Brooks believes the New Jersey Devils will be interested if they can find a taker for Mackenzie Blackwood.

Once Kuemper and Campbell are signed, the clubs that lost out on them could turn to the trade market. Targets could include Anaheim's John Gibson, Montreal's Jake Allen and Minnesota's Cam Talbot.

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