The Carolina Hurricanes are in discussions with goalie Dan Ellis about a contract extension, according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer.
Ellis, 32, told Alexander the two parties are “talking back and forth” about a new deal, but made it clear there was no offer on the table.
“[A] holding pattern,” is how Ellis described it, adding that he’d like to return for 2013-14.
The journeyman netminder signed in Carolina last season on a one-year, $800,000 deal, primarily to serve as a veteran backup to starter Cam Ward.
But things changed.
Ward suffered a season-ending knee injury in early March, forcing Ellis into the No. 1 gig. While he wasn’t terrible, the numbers reflect a goalie thrust into a position he probably wasn’t suited for, playing in front of a slumping team.
Ellis went 6-8-2 with a .906 save percentage and 3.13 GAA, occasionally splitting duties with third-stringer Justin Peters.
It’ll be interesting to see if the ‘Canes bring Ellis back. The goaltending market figures to be pretty deep this summer, with the backup (or, potential backup) goaltender market projecting to feature Ray Emery, Jose Theodore, Chris Mason, Mathieu Garon, Jason Labarbera and Anton Khudobin.