The Nashville Predators have spoken with the Anaheim Ducks about potentially acquiring goalie Jonas Hiller, ESPN reports.
The Preds have been without franchise netminder Pekka Rinne for the last four weeks due to complications from offseason hip surgery. Rinne will have a MRI on his hip sometime next week, at which time Nashville will have a clearer understanding of his timetable for return.
According to ESPN, Preds GM David Poile has kicked the tires on Hiller but also explored options elsewhere. The 31-year-old Swiss ‘tender probably makes the most sense, though, as he’s a UFA at season’s end and expendable, given Anaheim’s outstanding depth in goal.
Current No. 2 Viktor Fasth is locked in ’til 2015 and the club is extremely high on Frederik Andersen, the 24-year-old rookie that starred in his NHL debut, going 6-1-0 with a 1.66 GAA and .943 save percentage before getting sent back to AHL Norfolk.
Anaheim has a fourth goalie in this mix: John Gibson, the 39th overall pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He beat out Ben Bishop for Team USA’s No. 1 gig at last year’s World Championships, a stellar performance spurred his former OHL Kitchener goalie coach to remark that Gibson “is ready for the NHL right now.”
As for Nashville, the club could always continue to roll with Marek Mazanec. The 22-year-old rookie has one each of his last three starts — vs. Chicago, in Detroit and in Toronto — and has essentially taken the No. 1 gig away from Carter Hutton.