Chuck Fletcher has filled a lot of the Philadelphia Flyers’ holes this season but a few still remain. One of the biggest remaining needs is a backup goalie –– or tandem goalie –– for Carter Hart. Darcy Kuemper could be that guy.
The Flyers reportedly are among teams that “have shown varying degrees of interest” in the Arizona Coyotes goalie.
Five teams that I believe have shown varying degrees of interest in Arizona's Darcy Kuemper (one more year at $4.5M): Colorado, Philadelphia, Toronto, Carolina, Edmonton. The Avs it depends on what happens with Grubauer and Oil would need to lose Koskinen@TSNHockey @TheAthletic
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 27, 2021
Pierre LeBrun speculates that the Flyers, Avalanche, Maple Leafs, Hurricanes, and Oilers are in on Kuemper. However, Colorado and Edmonton have their own goalie situations to deal with. The Maple Leafs and Hurricanes would likely be the Flyers’ biggest competition for Kuemper.
Kuemper is a 31-year-old goalie that has spent the last three-and-a-half seasons with the Coyotes. In his career, he has a .917 save percentage and 2.47 goals-against average. However, he played over 29 games in a season just once since 2015. That season just happened to be the best of his career. Kuemper went 27-20-8 with five shutouts, a .925 SV%, and 2.33 GAA. That earned him a fifth-place finish in the Vezina Trophy voting.
Since then, Kuemper played 29 games in the 2019-20 season and 27 games last year. He posted a .928 SV% and 2.22 GAA two years ago, but his performance dipped a bit to the tune of a .907 SV% and 2.56 GAA last season. Kuemper missed time in February, March, and April with a lower-body injury.
Kuemper has good career numbers and wouldn’t be a bad candidate to split time with Carter Hart.
Fletcher already made one “trade” with Arizona in the past week, dumping Shayne Gostisbehere’s cap hit at the cost of a second-round pick and seventh-round pick. The Flyers would likely need Arizona to retain some salary or take on a contract from Philadelphia in a deal for Kuemper.
The Flyers currently have $13.5 million in cap space, per PuckPedia, which doesn’t include the reported $900,000 for Keith Yandle.