John Gibson has put up elite goaltending numbers for the past several seasons. Now, he will get handsomely compensated for it.
Gibson and the Anaheim Ducks came together on an eight-year, $51.2 million deal with an annual average value on $6.4 million on Saturday, making him the fifth highest paid goalie in the NHL when the contract kicks in for the 2019-20 season.
Gibson, 25, still has a year left on a three-year deal that’s paying him $2.3 million per season. The Ducks gave him a ‘prove-it’ deal and Gibson has done that and much more.
A nice pay raise on the day he’s getting married.
Since taking over the starting job during the 2016-17 season, Gibson hasn’t posted a season under a .920 save percentage. His career save percentage after 178 games played is .923, the highest in the NHL with a minimum of 150 games played since 1955-56 when shots on goal became an official state in the league, according to the Ducks.
Last season, Gibson posted career-highs in wins with 31 and save percentage at .926 and his minutes have risen over the past three years — 2,295 to 2,950 to 3,428.
The Ducks gave up the third least number of goals as a result, trailing only their Pacific Division rivals in the Los Angeles Kings and the Nashville Predators — this despite giving up the sixth most shots per game. Gibson made a career-high 1,733 saves and was pivotal in the Ducks making the playoffs.
Gibson went on a tear after the All-Star break, leading the league with a 1.95 GAA, a .937 Sv% and a 14-4-2 record.
Among goalies who played 1,500 minutes or more, Gibson had the third-highest GSAA (Goals saved above average) rating at 14.09.
The elephant in the room here is Gibson’s health — he was listed five times with an injury last year but still managed to start 60 games and put up career-year numbers.
When he’s healthy, he’s among the best in the league. If he stays that way, this contract is a steal for the Ducks, who now own Gibson throughout the prime of his career.
A little more shot suppression could go a long way to helping Gibson stay healthy. He had to stand on his head too many times last season as the Ducks gave up shot after shot.
Eight more years of this is good for everyone (minus opposing shooters).