After reading Bruce's recent post comparing Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk I thought it might be wise to mention Jeff Deslauriers' status as a potential Group 6 free agent this summer. Oilers fans might remember Group 6 free agency from Curtis Glencross who became an unrestricted free agent at age 25 (earlier than usual) because he hadn't yet played enough NHL games. Glencross subsequently signed with the Calgary Flames. For a goalie to qualify as a Group 6 free agent he must be 25 or older, have completed 3 or more professional seasons (including minor leagues) and have played fewer than 28 NHL games (a game only counts toward this total if the goalie played at least 30 minutes). Deslauriers has so far played 15 games by this definition so unless he plays in at least 13 more games this year he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Other goalies that have seen time on an NHL roster this season that could become unrestricted free agents this summer are Tyler Weiman of the Avalanche who would need to appear in 28 games before the end of the year (that's not happening) for the Avalanche to retain exclusive negotiating rights and Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings who would need to appear in 12 more games before the end of the year for the Red Wings to retain exclusive negotiating rights.
One interesting instance that may pop up in the future given how many games Roberto Luongo starts is Canucks top prospect Cory Schneider who will need to appear in 21 total games over the next three seasons for the Canucks to retain exclusive negotiating rights when he turns 25. It seems like a long time from now but in the four years before last season (when he was injured) Luongo started over seventy games. If the Canucks plan on keeping Schneider in the minors this season, it's something they're going to need to pay attention to over the next two seasons. With Luongo out with an injury earlier this year, it seemed they had a good chance to get Schneider some games. So what do they do? Play Andrew Raycroft!