The Anaheim Ducks made a big move on Monday, locking up John Gibson — pegged by many as their goalie of the future — to a three-year contract extension.
Per ESPN, the deal is worth $6.9 million with a $2.3 million average annual cap hit, and will kick in next year (Gibson has one year left on his entry-level contract.)
Gibson, 22, burst onto the scene two years ago. One of the top young goalie prospects in hockey, he made his NHL debut late in the regular season before eventually inheriting Anaheim’s playoff starting duties.
Many thought that was the start of his ascension to the No. 1 gig, but it wasn’t to be in. Last year, injuries and the progression of Frederik Andersen limited Gibson to just 23 regular-season games, and none in the playoffs.
Gibson’s ascension might be on hold for this year, too.
The Ducks are primed to carry Andersen and Anton Khudobin as their Nos. 1 and 2 this season, leaving Gibson to carry a starter’s workload in AHL San Diego.
Then, presumably, Gibson would challenge Andersen for the starting gig in 2016-17, when his new contract kicks in.
Khudobin is a UFA after this year and likely out of the Ducks’ plans, while Andersen — who was very good for the Ducks last year, finishing top-10 in wins (35) and save percentage (.923) — is a pending RFA, making just $1.15 million this year.