With NHL Penguins backup Brent Johnson entering the last season of his contract, could this be Thiessen's final season in the AHL?
The shocking news is that Tyler Kennedy was not tendered a qualifying offer and will now become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
Thiessen was next on our list for the 2010-11 season review, so after the jump we'll add to the breaking news with a look back at an incredible season by the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins goaltender.
2010-11 Season Review: Brad Thiessen
Role: Starting Goaltender
Contract Status: Restricted Free Agent (qualified)
Notables: 25 years old, 5-11, 171 lbs., Glove hand = Left
Season Stats: 46 games played, 35-8-1, 1.94 GAA, .922 SV%, 7 SO
Playoff Stats: 12 games played, 6-6, 1.67 GAA, .940 SV%, 2 SO
As you can see, the Penguins early exit in the Calder Cup Playoffs had absolutely nothing to do with the play of Brad Thiessen. He led the league in wins and finished second in both goals against average and shutouts in the regular season. Thiessen played even better in the playoffs and finished with the best goals against average and save percentage.
Thiessen really improved this past season, his 2nd AHL season with the Penguins. After going 14-14-1 in his rookie campaign, he more than doubled his win total and improved in every other statistical category.
Looking ahead, Thiessen will slot into the #1 goalie position in Wilkes-Barre if/when he signs. The Penguins still need a backup goalie since last year's #2 goalie John Curry signed to play overseas, but as long as Thiessen is retained, the search for a backup shouldn't be too pressing of an issue.
The AHL Penguins have a great team, arena, practice facility, fan base, coaching staff, etc. There are many selling points for potential free agent goaltenders to be drawn in by. We'll have to wait and see what happens.
With free agency starting this Friday (7/1) buckle up and stay tuned to Highland Park Hockey, where you will find all the news about Penguins free agent signings with more of an emphasis on what it means for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (AHL).