Minding the net

Last year's playoffs proved you don't need a high-priced goalie. Or did it?

Updated: May 23, 2011, 9:59 AM ET
By Lindsay Berra | ESPN The Magazine

One year ago, the Flyers and Blackhawks defied hockey convention by reaching the Stanley Cup Finals with untested, budget-friendly goaltenders; Philly's Michael Leighton earned just $600,000 while Chicago's Antti Niemi drew $826,875. Meanwhile, the teams backstopped by $7.5 million Olympic champ Roberto Luongo (Vancouver) and $6.25 million All-Star Ryan Miller (Buffalo) were bounced early.

In the offseason, the Cup-winning Hawks let Niemi leave for San Jose in favor of the unheralded ...

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