Late last week, I wrote that Nashville has a goaltending problem. With a crowded crease in Milwaukee, it seemed clear that Connor Ingram might be the odd man out when the Predators returned from their Global Series trip.
It was pretty clear to everyone that Kevin Lankinen had earned the backup job when he was tabbed for the second of the back-to-back games against the San Jose Sharks last week. Lankinen’s first game in gold was also a win. The young Finn had not had a lot of success in Chicago’s struggle-bus environment, although he was pretty exciting to watch in the Covid-shortened 2020-2021 season. Lankinen is a solid backup.
ARIZ claims Ingram— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 10, 2022
Ingram, however, is now going to be a Coyote. He joins former Predators prospect Karel Vejmelka in Arizona. The Coyotes list three goalies on their roster, including Jon Gillies and Jonas Johansson. Johansson himself was claimed off waivers just last week. Could Ingram get a chance to fight for playing time in Arizona? It sure looks like it. Ingram has the chops to be a 1B NHL goalie, and he was not going to get playing time in Nashville this season. The Preds front office must be reasonably confident that Devin Cooley or Yaroslav Askarov could be a third goaltender option in the event of an injury to Juuse Saros or Kevin Lankinen.
The Coyotes are the true underdog of the NHL. They’re playing in a college arena, their team is a patchwork quilt of guys wearing hockey gear, and they’re the constant subject of trade rumors. The Coyotes just claimed Juuso Valimaki from the Flames, too.
I suppose the Predators thought Ingram might sneak through on waivers. It seems a little curious to me that they let Ingram go on waivers rather than trade him. There’s always a goalie market.
I’d like to add one final thought. Thank you, Connor Ingram. Thanks for sharing your mental health story with us. Thank you for being unafraid to talk about tough things. We wish you the best of luck in Arizona.