Tag: Carolina Hurricanes

Antti Niemi

Even after flurry of trades, goalie market is far from settled


There were seven different trades over the course of Friday and Saturday that involved a goaltender, but even after that there are teams that still need to address their situation between the pipes. With the free agent period just around the corner and the trade market now in full swing, the pieces are likely to continue to fall into place rapidly. While we have a breather though, let’s take a look at where we stand.

Has Dallas addressed its goaltending needs?

Kari Lehtonen failed to live up to expectations last season so the Dallas Stars would naturally like to hedge their bets going forward. They’ve already taken a step towards that end by acquiring the rights to Antti Niemi from San Jose, but it remains to be seen if they can sign the netminder before he become an unrestricted free agent.

If they do sign Niemi, that might not settle their goaltending situation. He has spent the better part of his career serving as a starter and while his last two seasons haven’t been amazing, it’s likely that he’ll expect a significantly bigger salary than your typical backup. Which isn’t an issue by itself, but Dallas is still tied to Lehtonen for another three seasons at $5.9 million in cap space annually. That means Dallas will be dedicating a lot of its cap to goaltending and that’s something that may complicate matters for the squad unless it’s addressed.

What’s next for San Jose?

Meanwhile, San Jose still needs someone to work with Alex Stalock. The 27-year-old netminder had a 2.62 GAA and .902 save percentage in 22 games last season, so ideally the Sharks will want someone that can at least seriously challenge him for the starting job.

There are some noteworthy pending UFAs out there including Viktor Fasth, Karri Ramo, and Michal Neuvirth, but it’s also possible San Jose will make another trade.

“We’ve been exploring things for quite awhile, a lot of it in the trade market obviously,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson told CSN Bay Area. “As we’ve looked at it, we think there’s probably more goalies than there are teams. There’s more people that are available or could be available in discussions than you guys probably hear about.”

Who will be Steve Mason’s backup in Philadelphia?

With Ray Emery’s contract set to expire, the Flyers are in the market for a backup goaltender. They didn’t want to take part in the flurry of goaltending trades though.

“I didn’t want to give up an asset for a backup, quite honestly,” Flyers GM Ron Hextall told CSN Philly. “Did I talk to anybody? People called and I found out the prices.”

With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Philadelphia find its number two netminder on the free agent market.

Anaheim has created something of a logjam

When the Anaheim Ducks acquired Anton Khudobin from Carolina, it led some to naturally wonder if 21-year-old goaltender John Gibson was on the block. Ducks GM Bob Murray’s response was not family friendly, but the short version of his answer is: No.

So we can only assume that this issue won’t be addressed this summer, which makes it unique among the goaltending situations discussed here. Even still, it is awkward as this likely means that Gibson will be expected to spend the 2015-16 campaign in the minors after posting a decent 2.60 GAA and .914 save percentage in 23 games with Anaheim last season. This might just be a short-term setback for him though as Khudobin only has a year left on his contract before he can test the unrestricted free agent market.

Francis on Eric Staal: ‘He wants to be part of the Hurricanes’

Edmonton Oilers v Carolina Hurricanes

Talks between the Carolina Hurricanes and captain Eric Staal continued at the NHL Draft in Florida and it appears both sides would like to get an extension done.

The 30-year-old has one year remaining on his seven-year, $57.75 million deal. He is eligible to sign an extension beginning July 1.

“I’ve had a general and open and honest conversation with Eric’s agent on things,” Ron Francis told ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. “We’ll continue to have those as we move into the summer. Eric has indicated he wants to be part of the Hurricanes moving forward, and we’ll see if we can get that worked out.”

Staal scored 23 goals and 54 points to go along with a minus-13 rating in 77 games during the 2014-15 season. His current deal carries a cap hit of $8.25 million for the 2015-16 season.

Gibson trade rumors leave Ducks GM muttering profanities

2015 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7

It only seemed natural to wonder if the Anaheim Ducks’ acquisition of Anton Khudobin would be the precursor to another goalie move, but apparently that’s not the case.

In fact, it sounds like Ducks GM Bob Murray was incensed by the rumors, as you can see from The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell’s account:

“John Gibson is not getting traded,” Murray said. “So put that (expletive) out there, OK. That’s enough.”

This was an amusing way to put it, too:

Murray may rank as the NHL executive most in need of a five-second delay … at least when it comes to rumors about his goalies. Back in January 2014, he needed to be censored when asked about a possible Jonas Hiller trade.

He might not like the rumors, yet they crop up for a reason (much like irksome ones involving Hiller and Bobby Ryan eventually hinted at exits that did happen). The Ducks have three goalies in Khudobin, Gibson and Frederik Andersen under contract for just one more season, so it’s only reasonable to wonder when the other shoe might drop.

You might need earmuffs if you ask Murray about it around kids, though.

Ducks stay busy, send Etem to Rangers for Hagelin

Carl Hagelin

SUNRISE — The trades continue to pour in on the second day of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

In a fairly sizable move, the New York Rangers dealt speedy forward Carl Hagelin to Anaheim in exchange for another speedster, Emerson Etem. The Rangers also received the 41th overall pick, which they used to select WHL Seattle left wing Ryan Gropp; Anaheim received the 59th pick and the 179th pick in this year’s draft.

It’s an interesting deal. Both players are pending RFAs, though Hagelin has the more accomplished NHL resume and larger existing contract. The Swede, who tied a career-high with 17 goals last year, just wrapped a two-year deal worth $2.25 million annually.

Etem, a former first-round pick, just wrapped his entry-level contract, one that paid $870,000 per year. He’s struggled to keep a regular spot in the Anaheim lineup, though he did show flashes this postseason by scoring three goals in 12 games, including a highlight-reel tally against Winnipeg in the opening round.

It’s been a busy day for Anaheim. Earlier today, the Ducks sent underachieving defenseman James Wisniewski to Carolina in exchange for goalie Anton Khudobin.

After acquiring Lack, ‘Canes flip Khudobin to Ducks — more moves coming?

Anton Khudobin

The Carolina Hurricanes are playing the goalie market — and now, it appears the Ducks are as well.

Shortly after acquiring Eddie Lack from Vancouver, the ‘Canes orchestrated a yet-to-be-completed deal that moved Anton Khudobin to Anaheim. That’s led many to speculate that, with Khudobin and Frederik Andersen and John Gibson on the payroll, Ducks GM Bob Murray will soon make another move to clear up his three-headed goalie situation.

Update: Per reports, d-man James Wisniewski is headed to Carolina to complete the deal.

Khudobin, 29, is heading into the last of a two-year, $4.5 million deal with a $2.25M average annual cap hit. He scored that contract after a stellar first season in Carolina, then regressed last year — he finished ’14-15 with a 8-17-6 record, 2.72 GAA and .900 save percentage.

With this move, it appears the complex goalie market has become even more dynamic. Rangers backup Cam Talbot is still available for trade, and it’s possible someone could get in the mix for Gibson, regarded as one of the brightest young goaltending prospects in the NHL.