The Florida Panthers promised to be busy during free agency and they kept their promise as they added 6 players to the roster. The players included Willie Mitchell, Al Montoya, Shawn Thornton, Jussi Jokinen, Derek MacKenzie and Dave Bolland. These players bring in a nice combo of skill, toughness, veteran leadership and playoff experience that will be very valuable to our young team. Signing these guys also adds depth that will allow the younger players like, Vincent Trocheck and Quinton Howden to fine-tune their skills further before making the jump to the big club. Lets take a look at each of the signings individually and grade them. Today we look at our new back-up goalie, Al Montoya.
Al Montoya – 2 year contract worth $2.1 million – Grade A
- Last season’s backup Dan Ellis was absolutely horrendous. He posted an 0-5 record, had a .836 save %, and had a 4.81 goals against average. Clearly, we could not take the risk of having Ellis start if our star net-minder Roberto Luongo got hurt and apparently Dale Tallon felt the same way as he quickly signed Al Montoya. Montoya came into the league in 2004 when the New York Rangers took him 6th overall in the draft and he eventually became the first Cuban American to ever play in the NHL. Montoya appeared in 28 games for the Winnipeg Jets last season and posted a 13-8-3 record, a 2.30 goals against average, and a .920 save % which is a heck of an improvement from Dan Ellis. In my opinion, this signing gives us one of the best goal-tending tandems in the NHL and it should result in many more wins.
As always, your input is greatly appreciated. Feel free to follow us on Twitter @FANSIDEDTHERAT for even more Panther updates and be sure to subscribe to therattrick.com below. Thanks for reading and come back soon for the next FA signing grade post.