The Anaheim Ducks are having an impressive season so far. The Ducks currently sit in first place in the National Hockey League and also the ultra competitive Western Conference with a record of 33 wins 8 losses and 5 overtime losses. A large part of that success can be attributed to the play of goaltender Jonas Hiller.
On the season, Hiller has a record of 21-4-4 with a goals against average of 2.40 and save percentage of .912. He is also riding a 12 game winning streak going into Saturday nights game. It just so happens to be a contract year for the Swiss netminder. Hiller is in the final year of contract that is paying him $4.5 million dollars. His outstanding play this season will ultimately lead to Hiller seeing a big raise when he signs his next deal.
The Anaheim Ducks have to make a huge decision on Hiller. The Ducks have a stockpile of goaltending talent in their system which include Frederik Andersen, Viktor Fasth and John Gibson. With the Ducks so deep in talent, it is prompting the talk that Hiller may be moved at the deadline.
In a recent article by Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, Pugmire reported on a recent interview with Ducks General Manager Bob Murray
Jonas’ play has been outstanding this year,” Ducks General Manager Bob Murray said in a statement, declining — as he did before re-signing stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry to eight-year extensions last season — to discuss contract issues.
So what is the Ducks play here. Do they ride Hiller through the playoffs in hoping that keeping him gives them the best chance to reach and hopefully win the Stanley Cup and then discuss contract after the season? Or, do they trade Hiller by the trade deadline and look to fill other needs that may be needed on the roster?
My thought is that the Ducks decide to keep Hiller through the deadline and use him as their playoff goaltender. With the record the Ducks have achieved so far it doesn’t look to me like there are any glaring holes in the roster. There is obvious chemistry between Hiller and the rest of the team and sometimes the best move is not to make a move.
You can be certain that Murray will listen to offers for his all-star goalie this year but in the end I think that team chemistry will win out and he will retain Hiller. There will be a window, after the playoffs end and before the draft or before unrestricted free agaency starts, that Murray and Hiller can discuss their future together.
What do you think. Do the Ducks trade Hiller before the deadline?