According to Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has made a qualifying offer to potential restricted free agent defenseman Mark Fayne. That means New Jersey wants to keep Fayne in the fold and after how he performed through the playoffs helping to shut down some of the East’s top scorers, he’s earned that much.
Gulitti also reports that Fayne may be one of the few potential Devils RFAs to receive qualifying offers. Lamoriello didn’t say whether forwards Vladimir Zharkov and Kory Nagy, defenseman Matt Corrente, and goalie Timo Pielmeier might receive the same treatment.
Fayne is the lone one of the bunch to spend all season in New Jersey helping balance out the blue line. Fayne finished the regular season with four goals and 13 assists and added another three assists in the postseason helping the Devils reach the Stanley Cup finals.
While the Ducks rage on in the packed Western Conference playoff race, they’ll have to do without Jonas Hiller for at least the next three games. The Ducks starting goalie suffered a setback in his recovery to get over his spell of fatigue and lightheadedness and has been placed back on injured reserve. With his placement on IR, Hiller will miss the next three games.
Hiller missed three games last week with the same problems but returned to action on Sunday night against Edmonton. He made 12 saves in earning a shutout in a 4-0 win. During practice yesterday, however, Hiller started suffering from the same symptoms once again so the Ducks are proceeding with caution. Timo Pielmeier was called up from the AHL to backup Curtis McElhinney who will start in Hiller’s place.
We mentioned it before, but the Ducks signing of Ray Emery now looks to be even smarter than it was previously believed now with Hiller struggling with these issues. Once Emery is ready and back into game shape after his turn in Syracuse of the AHL, the Ducks will have a guy with better NHL experience in there to assist Hiller. McElhinney has done very well, however, while Hiller has been out. McElhinney won all three starts he made during Hiller’s recent spell and earned a shutout against Colorado.
For the Ducks to be playoff threats, however, they’ll need Hiller and after riding him so hard throughout this season, this break from action should help him out provided his condition improves.
After a minor injury blip on the radar that could have meant something more (but luckily did not), the Anaheim Ducks announced that they activated franchise goalie Jonas Hiller from the injured reserve. The team shipped Timo Pielmeier back to the ECHL after having him sit on the bench while Curtis McElhinney received some rare starts in Hiller’s absence.
Hiller will probably dress for the Ducks tonight, but Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register believes that McElhinney will get the start against his former team, the Calgary Flames.
The minor injury might be a red flag to Anaheim brass that Hiller’s workload has been a bit excessive. If there’s one roster “luxury” that is becoming relatively easy-to-come-by this season, it’s a solid backup. The team made a nice low-risk move to sign Ray Emery, but they need to make sure that they are comfortable with their goalie rotation soon (preferably before the trade deadline). After all, Anaheim fans would hate to see the Ducks’ scrappy season fall apart if Hiller wears down and the club has no one else to turn to.
When you’re the goalie that’s single-handedly carrying a team into playoff position, it can be an exhausting thing to do. Such is life for Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller and after playing in 47 of the team’s first 53 games he’s getting a break. The team announced today that Hiller was suffering from fatigue and that he would miss tomorrow’s game against Colorado. That means Curtis McElhinney likely gets the start against the skidding Avalanche and Timo Pielmeier will get the call up from AHL Syracuse to back him up.
For Hiller, his numbers have been outstanding this year but they’ve relied a ton on him to get the Ducks into playoff position this year. Through 47 games, Hiller has a 25-16-3 record with a 2.56 goals against average and a .925 save percentage. Hiller also leads the NHL in shots faced this season with 1,472, just 30 shots ahead of Carolina’s Cam Ward. That’s a ton of action for any goalie, but for Hiller it’s all come without much of a break. Hiller was also one of Anaheim’s representatives at the All-Star Game in Raleigh meaning that instead of getting a few days off, he was there participating in the weekend’s events.
If you’ve been wondering why Anaheim is apparently interested in free agent goalie Ray Emery, Hiller’s workload alone should tell you why. McElhinney has been a capable backup for the Ducks this year, but he’s not a guy you feel comfortable going to consistently. Emery, should he be totally healthy and ready to go, is a guy that can do that. If things go poorly tomorrow for Anaheim, expect the talks with Emery to pick up substantially.