The biggest goaltending domino in the trade deadline fell when Ryan Miller was traded on Friday, but the Carolina Hurricanes are probably hopeful that this beefs up what might have been a tepid market at the position. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that they’re willing to trade any one of three goalies Cam Ward, Anton Khudobin and Justin Peters by the trade deadline.
The three goalies present some very different value propositions.
Ward, 29: The big name of the three, Ward carries a $6.3 million cap hit that runs through the 2015-16 season. The last two campaigns have been particularly difficult for the netminder, as he’s dealt with injuries and inconsistency while Carolina floundered.
His recent play might damper his value (especially with that hefty contract), but Carolina can also ask for a little more value in return for a guy who has a Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup on his resume … even if that happened many moons ago.
Khudobin, 27: The Hurricanes grabbed him as he was one of the league’s best-kept secrets (9-4-1 with a .920 save percentage in Boston last season) and onlookers have seen him play well even without Zdeno Chara patrolling his blueline. He’s likely to get a nice raise from his expiring $800K salary, although a team might target him as a Ben Bishop-type buy-low candidate.
At the same time, Khudobin echoes Bishop last season in having limited NHL experience, so GMs might be weary of paying whatever Carolina’s price may be for him.
Peters, 27: He’s quietly put together a very nice season after some up-and-down years as a Hurricanes goaltending prospect. Teams that focus on his nice .919 save percentage instead of his 7-9-4 record could very well grab a sneaky-good backup. Like Khudobin, Peters has an expiring contract.
As you can see, you can make an argument for or against each one of the Hurricanes’ potential trade target goalies. It may come down to what GM Jim Rutherford is asking for and which goalie(s) he truly wants to keep.
By Marian Gaborik‘s often-fragile standards, he’s been relatively sturdy as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
Still, few should be shocked when they hear of a lower-body injury for the veteran winger. In this case, it’s serious enough to land him on injured reserve, as the team announced on Saturday.
Gaborik had a bumpy time with zero points from Jan. 9-23, but he’s been more productive lately, scoring five points in his past seven contests.
And, again, it was an unusually healthy run for Gaborik:
LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen indicates that Gaborik was placed on IR in part so that the Kings could make room for Peter Budaj.
Update: The Minnesota Wild made it official. Still no word yet on a replacement.
It looks like the Minnesota Wild have no love left for Mike Yeo on Valentine’s Day weekend.
Apparently an eighth consecutive loss (falling to the Boston Bruins) was the final straw, as Yeo has been fired, according to Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press and Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Yeo confirmed as much via text (pauses for comment about this being a strange time for us all) to Russo:
The Wild haven’t made an official announcement yet. The writing certainly seemed to be on the wall with Graff reporting that there were especially long meetings between Minnesota management and Yeo after today’s loss to Boston.
Yeo mentioned that he wouldn’t quit following the game.
One big question remains: is GM Chuck Fletcher safe to work the trade deadline or will there be sweeping changes for the struggling Wild?
Also: who coaches them going forward? Will an assistant be bumped up to interim head coach or will the franchise go to someone looking for a gig? Perhaps this option …
Who knows, really. PHT will keep you up to date either way.
/paging Jacques Lemaire …
The Carolina Hurricanes probably can save a few ice buckets tonight, as the New York Islanders will be without winger Cal Clutterbuck.
The Isles announced that Clutterbuck won’t play on Saturday because of an illness. Their next game is against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday, and then they don’t suit up again until Thursday, so Clutterbuck’s sickness may not be too much of a nuisance.
According to Yahoo’s numbers, the amusingly named forward has delivered 55 hits in 14 career games against the Canes (not to mention a solid five points).
Matt Martin‘s among the most frequent hitters in the league, too, so it’s not like the Hurricanes will leave tonight’s game totally unscathed.
Here are the Islanders’ tweaked forward lines:
If the Minnesota Wild want to make a coaching change, it sounds like Mike Yeo won’t make it easy for them by stepping down.
“I’m not freaking quitting here,” Yeo said to reporters including the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.
It also sounds like Yeo realizes that Minnesota’s morbid losing streak – now at a worrisome eight games – may very well cost him his job.
The scene sounded pretty somber after today’s loss to the Boston Bruins, and not in your usual way.
Firing Yeo would be a big step for the Wild, even more than usual, as he began his coaching stint in 2011. GM Chuck Fletcher was hired in 2009, so the two have been attached at the hip since then.
(And they got to know each other well in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.)
Will one or both be gone, possibly in the near future? Even Yeo admits big changes can happen.
Wild players, meanwhile, just seem beaten down … and maybe ambivalent about Yeo?