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Lack of job openings puts Marty Turco’s future in jeopardy

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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Take a look at the remaining free agent goaltenders. You'll notice that Marty Turco is the most senior netminder available with 538 games played, right after the 224 by fellow unrestricted free-agent John Grahame.

Turco was signed by the Chicago Blackhawks a year ago to provide a veteran presence in front of Corey Crawford, after letting Antti Niemi walk once his arbitration decision was announced.

Crawford ended up usurping the No. 1 job from Turco, who played 29 games and finished with an 11-11-3 record, .897 save-percentage and 3.02 goal against average.

It's now August 6 and Turco is still without a job. His agent, Kurt Overhardt, told us last week that his client will play next season. Specifically missing from his response was whether or not it would be in the NHL. (NOTE: Overhardt clarified to us that Turco will be in the NHL, not heading over to Europe.)

Looking at the goaltending depth charts around the NHL, there doesn't seem to be room for a soon-to-be 36-year-old netminder whose numbers have been declining the past several seasons.

The closest landing spot you could even think of being a remote possibility -- in the NHL -- would be the Columbus Blue Jackets, if they're worried about Steve Mason being unable to bounce back and the inexperienced Mark Dekanich behind him. But that's just thinking out loud.

Many teams would rather get remain flexible with their options in bringing young players through their system instead of signing an again veteran to a 1-year contract.

Other than taking his game overseas to Europe, the possibility of being an NHL training camp invite is there, as we saw with Ray Emery last week.

Then there's the inevitable talk of retirement. Turco did a turn as an analyst on the NHL Network's Stanley Cup playoffs coverage and could easily transition into a role in front of the camera if this indeed is the end of the line for him.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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