Top five team goaltending bargains in the NHL

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard makes a save against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second...

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard makes a save against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second period of their NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dec. 13, 2011. (REUTERS/David DeNoma)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:35 PM ET

With the signing of Brian Elliott this week to a two-year contract, the St. Louis Blues locked up a nice goaltending tandem for the next couple of years. With Jaroslav Halak (cap hit of $3.75 million) and Elliott ($600,000 now; $1.7 million next season), the Blues are tied for the best goals-against average in the league. Which got me to thinking: who's getting the best bang for their buck for the money they're spending? This is somewhat subjective ...

1. Los Angeles Kings. They're spending just $3.05 million for their Jonathans; Quick ($1.8 million) and Bernier ($1.25 million) and have the fourth-best team goals-against average (2.10).

2. Florida Panthers: Jose Theodore ($1.5 million) and Scott Clemenson ($1.2 million) combine for just $2.7 million and have the Panthers ranked in the top half of the league (13th) with a 2.71 GAA.

3. Detroit Red Wings. Jimmy Howard ($2.5 million) might be the best bargain in the league and, with Ty Conklin ($750,000), have the Wings in fifth place in GAA at 2.28.

4. Phoenix Coyotes: They're spending the same as the Wings for their goaltending (Mike Smith, $2 million and Jason LaBarbera, $1.25 million) and they're not far behind the Wings at 2.56 GAA.

5. Washington Capitals. The Caps are spending the least amount of money in the league for their goaltending, just $2.65 million for Tomas Vokoun ($1.5 million) and Michal Neuvirth ($1.15 million) and they're 15th in the league at 2.78.


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