Examining the NHL goalie market

Hockey analytics pioneer Rob Vollman is ESPN Insider's armchair general manager this season, exploring how modern statistics can inform front-office decisions.

There are no good starting goalies available right now, but there are several capable backups. Of them, free agent Tomas Vokoun and Washington Capitals third-stringer Philipp Grubauer may be among the more interesting options to pursue.

At least, those are some of the judgments I've made based on a close study of the underlying numbers. While hockey analytics can admittedly never capture certain intangibles, and the sample sizes involved in goaltending analysis can be egregiously small, it's still a good way to find goalies who deserve attention.

We'll start by taking a closer look at why I'm pessimistic about finding a good starting goalie right now but optimistic about the potential of several of today's available backups.