A quick and dirty analysis through all 30 teams in the NHL of whether or not there is a somewhat reasonable chance that Harding and a team strike a deal to play as their #1 goalie.
ANAHEIM – They have Hiller, nope.
BOSTON – Rask and Thomas, nope.
BUFFALO – Miller, nope.
CALGARY – Hmmm, they could trade Kipper this off-season and sign Harding to share time with Karlsson.
CAROLINA – Ward, nope.
CHICAGO – They should do something but I think if they were to they would go for the more sure thing, which isn’t Harding.
COLORADO – Varly, nope.
COLUMBUS – I feel someone will be brought in here, will it be Harding? Definitely could be.
DALLAS – Lehtonen, and stacked in the net just like the Wild, so nope.
DETROIT – Some people feel they need to improve on Howard, but I don’t think Harding would be what they are looking for, so nope.
EDMONTON – Dubs will be serviceable enough for them, so no Harding here.
FLORIDA – Theo has been good and they have a stud in Markstrom coming up, if they do go get a goalie he will be better and more proven than Harding.
LOS ANGELES – Quick, nope.
MINNESOTA – Backs isn’t going anywhere, so nope.
MONTREAL – Price, nope.
NASHVILLE – Pekka Head, nope.
NEW JERSEY – Will Brodeur retire? If yes, then it’s a definite possibility. If no, well then nope.
NY ISLANDERS – How many goalies do they seriously need? Nope.
NY RANGERS – King Henrik, nope.
OTTAWA – Anderson, Lehner, and Bishop, nope.
PHILADELPHIA – Bryz, nope.
PHOENIX – Smith, I think Harding could be a Smith like others do, but lets be honest there needs to be a system like Tippet’s for that kind of success.
PITTSBURGH – Flower, nope.
SAN JOSE – Niemi, nope.
ST LOUIS – Halak and Elliot, nope.
TAMPA BAY – Yeah they need a goalie, and a Harding upgrade would be just fine for them but they also need to improve their D a little more. This actually makes it even more likely for Harding to go there because then they can save their other assets to trade for some D help by signing Harding as a FA. Will have to wait and see what Stevie Y does.
TORONTO – They need some help as well, but I don’t know if Burkie thinks Harding is much better than what they have now. The Monster could be going somewhere else this summer as well, so that would leave a tandem of Reimer and Harding. Also, maybe Harding doesn’t want to play there if he has to compete with Reimer.
VANCOUVER – Looks like they are going with Schneider.
WASHINGTON – Hmmm, another intriguing team. Do they let Vokoun go? Most likely. Do they rock a Neuvy/Holtby tandem? I guess I would. Either way I don’t see Harding as enough of an upgrade there and again probably doesn’t want to compete for a spot if he doesn’t have to somewhere else.
WINNIPEG – Pavelec will do just fine there, so nope.
In order the teams that Harding would have the best chance agreeing to terms with to be the #1:
TBL, CBJ, TOR, CGY, & NJD
Also, these are the goalies who could be on the move that he could be competing with for number one roles, including goalies still under contract, UFA, and RFA (no particular order and I could be missing some):
Luongo, Bernier, Nittymaki, Vokoun, Gustavsson, Lindback, Kipper, Thomas, Greiss