A fan's attempt to provide an overview of the organizational goalie situation.
Six goalies under NHL contract - Vokoun, Neuvirth, Holtby, Sabourin, Grubauer, & Anderson
Tomas Vokoun – Groin injury (reported as groin injury)
Michal Neuvirth – Lower body injury (many assume left knee, heard some say hip, others say ankle; wait and see)
Philipp Grubauer – Season ending hand (wrist) surgery
Brandon Anderson (under contract; assigned to WHL)
Steffen Soberg (on reserve list; at this time, I can't think of another goalie who would be listed on the reserve list)
After Holtby (already on recall to Washington,) Dany Sabourin is the only healthy goalie playing pro hockey and under contract to Washington at this time. If Vokoun and Neuvirth are unavailable, the tandem for the next Washington Capitals game on Saturday is expected to be Holtby and Sabourin. After that, as Tim Leone noted last night on twitter, "Imagine. #Caps could be in playoffs ... with the two guys who were supposed to be Hershey's goalie tandem."
The only other healthy goalie right now under contract with the Capitals is Brandon Anderson. Anderson is a 19yo goalie, currently the back-up goalie for the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Wheat Kings are playing in the second round of the WHL playoffs. As has happened in the past, a player under contract to an NHL team and assigned to a CHL team can be recalled under emergency conditions when there is no other option under contract in the NHL organization. Anderson has not had a good season on the ice and recently took personal leave and left the Wheat Kings for a time, returning for the playoffs. He has not played in a WHL game since 2/21. Best source for news & breaking news about Brandon Wheat Kings is Bruce Luebke. link to his blog
Even after the trade deadline and for the playoffs, players on the reserve list for an NHL team can be signed to an NHL contract and join the team (see the recent reports regarding the NYR and Chris Kreider.) In addition, note, that there is the waiver rule for players who played in Europe after the NHL season started. (One more thing, a late addition to the write-up:) Being on the reserve list is key for signing and playing in the playoffs (NYR/Kreider, as one example, if he signs,) as we have seen (e.g., Boston/Turco, NYI/Grahame,) a team can sign a player not on the team's reserve list after the trade deadline, but those players are only eligible for the regular season.
If, and only if, it got to the point where all of these options were exhausted and specifically, for the playoffs, I do not know the detail of the rules, but one assumes, there is an option for bringing in an emergency goalie. Based on what has happened during the regular season, it is likely that the goalie would have to be someone without pro hockey experience if brought in under emergency conditions.
Obviously, this is a lot of typing for no reason if one of Vokoun or Neuvirth is healthy enough to be available to the Washington Capitals.
Daren Machesney – Hershey AHL contract
Matt Tendler – ATO
Billy Sauer – Possible PTO
Other – ATO/PTO
Daren Machesney is under contract to Hershey. He was not on Hershey’s CDR (AHL clear day roster) or on the Hershey 'in residence' list because he was in the ECHL and was injured at the time, as well. He recently returned from missing time due to a groin injury and with Grubauer out due to injury/surgery, Machesney has been the starter in SC's first 2 ECHL playoff games.
The way the AHL CDR rules are written and given Machesney is under contract with Hershey, my understanding is that he is an option for recall to Hershey.
Also, in terms of having two goalies available for the playoffs or before, Hershey has the option of signing a different junior or NCAA goalie (if their season has ended) to an ATO or a different ECHL (or other non AHL contract) goalie to a PTO (professional tryout agreement.)
South Carolina Stingrays/ECHL
If Machesney is recalled by Hershey, Sauer becomes the SC starter in the first-round playoff series.
With SC playing playoff games (1-1 in a best of 5 series with G3 tonight and G4 Sunday afternoon; G5 if needed is scheduled for Monday night,) instead of recalling Machesney, Hershey has Tendler on ATO as the back-up. Now, it may not be possible for Hershey to leave Machesney in the ECHL any longer.
More on Hershey/SC: My understanding is that Hershey has been riding Sabourin and holding out with Tendler, ATO, as the back-up since SC is in the playoffs and Hershey has qualified for the playoffs. Although some positioning still to be determined in terms of seeding (home ice adv., etc.), signs point to Hershey playing WBS in the first round. Hershey has a 3 in 3 this weekend and next weekend (6 games regular season games total) remaining in the regular season.
Also, if WHL Brandon gets eliminated from the playoffs, Anderson would be available to be assigned to Hershey as an extra goalie or as a back-up for Hershey.