The future is (mostly) now for the Anaheim Ducks in net after letting Jonas Hiller walk to the Calgary Flames, but they bought a little bit of veteran insurance on July 1. The team signed journeyman backup Jason LaBarbera to a one-year deal worth $750K.
The 34-year-old netminder bounced around the NHL and AHL a bit last season, but he has 182 games of experience at the top level. It probably doesn’t hurt that he’s spent the majority of his days in the West, either; the Ducks likely got a good idea of what they can expect considering his time with the Los Angeles Kings (2005-06 to 2008-09, before joining Vancouver briefly) and the then-Phoenix Coyotes (2009-10 to 2012-13).
His numbers won’t blow anyone away, but again, the Ducks are making a big investment in younger goalies.
Frederik Andersen appears to be “the man” for now with Hiller and Viktor Fasth out of the picture, although John Gibson probably carries the most hype long-term. Both made their NHL debuts last season, however, so it makes a lot of sense to get a guy who’s been around for a while.