The Red Wings goaltending situation has been shaken up in recent weeks after a broken finger plagued number one netminder Jimmy Howard. Conklin, then backup to Howard, continued his struggles against Edmonton in his first start after Howard’s injury as he was pulled after allowing three goals on only nine shots. In came MacDonald to spark the team, and finish the game. The Red Wings mounted a comeback, earning a point in the 5-4 shootout loss.
Since then, Joey MacDonald, who put up modest numbers with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, has now earned six straight victories with the Red Wings. He currently has a record of 6-1-1, and carries a .934 save percentage and 1.66 goals against average.
While the Wings had the cap and roster space available, carrying three goalies was not the ideal situation. Instead, they chose to waive Conklin and award the number two job to MacDonald. His strong play has solidified Detroit’s goaltender situation heading into the final stretch of the season, and leaves them with no trade speculation between the pipes.
“I’m comfortable with our goaltending,” general manager Ken Holland said regarding their situation. “I’m not looking to do any moves in that regard.”
Speculation on Ty Conklin’s future will continue to grow throughout the remainder of the season, and into free agency. Conklin will be a free agent this summer, and with MacDonald locked up through next year, it looks as though the backup spot will comfortably remain his.
Despite putting up solid numbers for Pittsburgh and Detroit in 2007-08 and 2008-09, respectively, Conklin has not been able to find a long term home. From 2009 to 2011, he spent time as the backup in St. Louis, but started only 41 games over the course of two seasons. Returning to Detroit this season hasn’t been a walk in the park either. Conklin has started a mere nine games, and carries a record of 3-5 with a 3.4 goals against average and .878 save percentage.
Conklin would present himself as an interesting option for the Carolina Hurricanes to consider. While Cam Ward will see most of the time in net down the stretch, he is currently day-to-day with a back injury. As of today, 25 year old Justin Peters is in net for the Hurricanes, but once Ward is healthy enough to return, Peters will be relegated to backup duty once again. A young goalie such as Peters might benefit more from seeing increased ice time in the AHL, rather than sitting on the bench at the NHL level. Conklin could come in immediately and provide a viable backup option for a Hurricanes team which is out of the playoff hunt.
What do you think of the Red Wings waiving Ty Conklin? Will he clear waivers, or will another team nab him before tomorrow? What does his future hold for next season?