Official now, Martin Jones is joining the Seattle Kraken on a one-year, $2MM contract for next season. The deal comes on the heels of Chris Driedger’s ACL injury and gives the Kraken a veteran backup for Philipp Grubauer.
Jones, 32, was once considered a legitimate workhorse starter in the league, playing in at least 60 games for four straight seasons during his time with the San Jose Sharks. There were good results too, including some long playoff runs with those impressive teams. Unfortunately, it has been quite a while since he’s even been close to league average in his performance, posting four straight years with a save percentage of .900 or below.
This season, for the Philadelphia Flyers, he had a .900 even in 35 appearances. While that 6’4″ athletic frame can still show flashes of the goalie he once was, there are too many times when pucks leak through Jones or he is caught out of position.
With a $2MM cap hit, Jones should be the regular NHL backup, though it is interesting the Kraken signed him at all. They already had Joey Daccord in the system, and inked free agent goalie Magnus Hellberg earlier today. You could argue that either one is probably a better option than Jones right now (even with their relative inexperience), and both will be subject to waivers should the team try to send them to the minor leagues.
Given Grubauer’s significant struggles last season, the goaltending position in Seattle is by no means settled at the moment. He will get the lion’s share of the work but if the team has to deal with another year of the worst save percentage in the league, it’s difficult to know how they’ll be anywhere near competitive.