How Much Is Your Goalie Really Worth?
In the game of ice hockey, everyone wants to see points scored, but you've got to get the puck past the goalie first. Because of this, the goalie is arguably one of the most critical players on the ice, and teams who lose their goalies are in for a tough game. Fortunately, teams play with backup goalies to insulate themselves against the possibility of losing one of their most important players.
But what happens if this backup goalie gets injured too?
Should the team dig into the salary cap to get a better goaltender? Many believe the answer is yes.
The Goalie: Every Team's MVP
Goalies are still a little mythical. On many teams, they're not the flashy players that everyone sees out front. Instead, they're the quiet men behind the scenes, but they carry a significant responsibility for the game's success nonetheless.
Because of this, many NHL fans consider the goalie the most important player on the ice. Having a great goalie can make a season, while having a poor one (or a stand-in who doesn't have the same skill level as your regular goalie) can be devastating.
In fact, HockeyAnalysis.com reports that a 0.01 difference in save percentage on the part of the goaltender can result in an 8.76 point shift in team standings. How's that for critical?
With this in mind, any team that loses a goalie and its backup goalie in the same season is virtually obligated to dip into the salary cap to find a good replacement. While many teams would struggle to justify this somewhat radical move, the goalie is worth more than virtually any other player on the team, and having a good one is essential to a team's success and standing throughout the season.
Shelling Out More for a Good Goalie Is a Long-Term Investment
While it may be one thing if a team has a goalie who is out on a temporary injury, it's critical to spare no expense when it comes to finding a long-term replacement for a great goalie.
In addition to helping boost the team's standing during the season, ensuring there's a good goaltender in the box is also a great way to boost team morale.