A logjam of talented goalies has forced Anaheim into an eyebrow-raising move.
Frederik Andersen, the rookie ‘tender that’s started his NHL career with a 6-1-0 record, has been reassigned to AHL Norfolk to make room for Viktor Fasth, who declared himself fit to return from injury and will back up Jonas Hiller tonight in Tampa Bay.
Andersen, 24, was named the NHL’s second star last week and boasts some truly spectacular numbers — 1.66 GAA, .943 save percentage and a signature win against Vancouver on Sunday, stopping a career-high 35 shots in a 3-1 victory.
Such play would normally earn goalies an extended look in the NHL, but Anaheim doesn’t exactly have a normal goalie situation.
Hiller and Fasth are the organization’s top-two netminders and sending either to the minors would mean having to clear waivers (much to the delight of Edmonton, probably.) The Ducks could carry all three, but that would likely come at the expense of Andersen, who doesn’t have a ton of experience playing in North America and could use as much playing time as possible — even if it’s in the American League.
It’s also worth noting 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.”