As AHL UFA day gets underway, the Hershey Bears are in need of a goalie. Current net minder Philipp Grubauer is looking to build off a strong rookie AHL season, but needs someone to help take some starts to give him a break. With Dany Sabourin headed to play overseas, the Bears have a whole to fill.
New Jersey Devils free agent Jeff Frazee could fit that mold. He’s an unrestricted free agent after his NHL deal has expired with the Devils this season. He played in 28 games for the Albany Devils last season, going 8-14-5 while posting a 2.58 goals against average and .916 save percentage. Frazee played in one NHL contest for New Jersey last season, totaling three saves in 19 minutes of action.
If Hershey is interested in Frazee, he would likely get 25-30 starts and would likely be a better play than Sabourin was last year. Frazee is likely aiming for an NHL two-way contract, so Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee would make that signing, not Hershey Bears GM Doug Yingst. Other AHL goalie options for the Bears include Michael Leighton and John Curry.
However, Frazee is likely done with New Jersey and the Albany Devils. His agent Jordan Neumann spoke to Inside Hockey via email on Friday morning.
“We have had several discussions with New Jersey and the door has remained open for a return but at this time there doesn’t appear to be room for Jeff. We will continue pursuing all options for Jeff.”
Hershey’s other needs included a center and right handed defenseman. Adding a scorer or two on the wing also is a priority for Yingst and the Bears. Andrew Gordon, Darren Haydar and Graham Mink have all played in Hershey and could be on Yingst’s wish list.