We covered this exact topic earlier this month. There are some goalies on the market that are not worth even talking about for the New Jersey Devils. The surprising name on that list was the St. Louis Blues’ Ville Husso. There are some Devils fans who are all in on signing him this offseason. They believe he is the key to their turnaround in net.
We can see why. There is some desperation with the situation for the Devils. They had the worst goaltending in the league. There is no end in sight with a still-injured Jonathan Bernier and a huge question mark in Mackenzie Blackwood. We liked what we saw from Nico Daws at times, but he’s incredibly inconsistent (which is to be expected from a 20-year-old goalie).
Meanwhile, here’s this unrestricted free agent goalie who’s just 27 years old and coming off a .919 save percentage. He wasn’t exactly the starter since he shared time with Jordan Binnington, but the St. Louis Blues still went with Husso at the start of the postseason. He was eventually replaced, and Binnington took over.
Husso was forced back into the postseason when Binnington got hurt, and he didn’t play well. He lost three of four games, and even in the win he couldn’t put up a save percentage higher than .900.
Husso’s postseason performance is what has us really worried about Husso. We already had our reservations about putting all the Devils ducks in the basket of a goalie who did not have a good career previous to this season. We’ve seen one-hit-wonder goalies in the past. One of them was on our roster this season in Andrew Hammond. The Devils can’t take a chance on another one.
Husso might turn into an incredible starting goalie. The Blues were very patient with him, waiting for him to blossom until he was this age. It’s hard to believe they are going to give up on him now that he’s a free agent. The Devils would have to really bring the money to make Husso a member of this franchise.
If it was something that had a high likelihood of working, of course, the Devils should go after Husso. Here’s the thing; the Devils have taken chances on goalies with much better pedigrees. None of them have been working out. Now, the Devils should put their entire future in a player with one year of positive output?
The Devils need to find someone better. There is better on the free agency market and within the trade market. Jack Campbell would be a better choice, and he’s probably going to cost about the same as Husso. Darcy Kuemper is probably going to be the most expensive goalie on the market, and he could be coming off a Stanley Cup appearance. That is an interesting choice. The biggest fish on the market might be a little out of Tom Fitzgerald’s price range, but Husso should not be his replacement choice.