The Anaheim Ducks signed goalie Viktor Fasth last May to a one year deal worth $1 million. Fasth started his NHL career on fire, he tore out of the gates winning his first 8 career starts in the NHL. Fasth was one win short of matching Ray Emery‘s record of 9 straight wins to begin his career.
Fasth proved last season he is more than a capable goalie in the NHL, but the only issue, is that the season was shortened due to the lockout. Fasth proved he can play, but his durability, and his ability to carry the Ducks, or any other team in the NHL for that matter, remains to be seen. Fasth’s record of 15-6-2 last season led to a two year contract extension with the Ducks. Fasth’s deal is worth a total of $5.8 million. Fasth’s save percentage was a pretty .921%, and he put up an impressive goals against average of 2.18.
Jonas Hiller went undrafted, but found his way into the NHL anyhow. He played his first bit of NHL hockey in 2007, and after appearing in only one game, Hiller found himself on the bench, and found Ilya Bryzgalov on waivers. Bryz eventually ended up in Phoenix, and then in Philly, but we all know how that story goes. Hiller was officially named the starter for the Ducks in the 2009 playoffs, after Hiller’s strong play in net that season.
Hiller signed an $18 million contract for four years in 2010, which means he is entering the final season of his contract. Hiller has been a solid goalie while he has been in Anaheim, posting a record of 133-97-25, with a goals against average of 2.51, and a save percentage of .917%.
Hiller was the starter for the Ducks in the playoffs last season. Hiller took the Ducks into a seven game series with the 7th seeded Detroit Red Wings, but the Wings got the best of Hiller and the rest of the Ducks and won the series. Hiller ended the series with a save percentage of .917% and a goals against average of 2.46. I wasn’t shocked by Bruce Boudreau’s choice to play Hiller over Fasth, but it was obvious that Fasth had the better season, and with a new contract, why not try him out in the playoffs? He was hot, wasn’t he? Of course it’s a lot easier for me to say this all now that Hiller was unable to get past the Red Wings.
Hiller has the ability to be the go to guy in Anaheim, but with Fasth backing him up, Anaheim possesses one of the best one-two goalie punches in the NHL. Fasth, on the other hand, showed he was capable at playing at the NHL level, but with such a small sample size last season the Ducks can’t be too sure that he can finish out an 82 game season as an every night starter.
So what do the Ducks do with their goaltending situation? Hiller is entering his final season on his current contract, and Fasth was just given a two year extension. So, what happens this season? The two goalies will likely split time, but when the trade deadline approaches, would it be completely crazy to see the Ducks at least try and move Hiller and give Fasth the keys to the net?
The idea isn’t too crazy, but it probably won’t happen. The Ducks have two solidified goalies, and can pack them back to back night in and night out. Both are close in age, Hiller is 31, Fasth is 30, and both have skill, but take a look at the goalie market at the moment. Ryan Miller is still in a Sabres uniform, Jaroslav Halak is still in a Blues uniform, I would mention Roberto Luongo, but I think that has to do with more than a shoddy goalie market.
The market for a goalie isn’t that great right now. Most teams have their solidified starter, and aren’t asking too many more questions. I’m not saying it’s impossible for the Ducks to make a move at the deadline, things happen mid season than can change a team’s game plan for the season. Hiller could very well find himself finishing his contract in another sweater though. Possibly an Islanders sweater? Or maybe a Flyers sweater? I wouldn’t say it’s out of the question. What do you think the Ducks plan to do this season?