Earlier today, the NHL named it’s three stars of the month of December. The 1st Star went to Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane who registered a league-leading 16 assists in the month along with 23 points. The 2nd Star went to Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby who scored 9 goals and tallied 14 assists for a total of 23 points, tied with Kane for the league lead for the month. The 3rd Star went to Anaheim Ducks’ Jonas Hiller who went 9-0-1 in the month with a 1.96 GAA and a .929 SV%. He led the Ducks to a 11-1-1 record in the month and allowed two or fewer goals a game in nine of ten appearances in the month. In layman’s terms, he’s stopping a lot of pucks, winning a lot of games and playing really frickin’ well.
So, this brings up another question that we’ve talked about a lot here at Pucks of a Feather. Hiller has played Vezina-caliber goaltending for good portions of this season. Which leads to a rise in trade value. There are certainly some teams who would be interested if the Ducks were willing to part ways. However, would you or the Ducks trade Hiller with how the Ducks’ goaltending situation is looking right now. Viktor Fasth has only played 5 games this season because every time he pushes himself a little too hard in warmups he suffers a lower body injury. He’s suffered from two of them this season and is currently out with lower body muscle inflammation. Frederik Andersen has played well, but is a rookie. I’m fine with him being a backup. Honestly, I was a Fasth guy and was very willing to trade Hiller. With the way this season has progressed though, Hiller playing very well and Fasth’s injury proneness, I have to say that I have completely changed my view of the goaltending situation.
I no longer want to trade Hiller. However, being a contract year for Hiller and John Gibson waiting in the wings, how is the goaltending situation going to look like next season? Hiller will be 32 when this season and his contract ends. Fasth has one more year on last year’s two-year contract extension. He will be 31 when the season ends but will turn 32 in August. Andersen has a contract extension that he signed in October that ends after 2015-2016. Gibson’s entry-level deal ends at the same time as Andersen’s contract extension. I would not be surprised if Hiller re-signed here for a short-term contract, Fasth let his contract end and become a free agent and when that happens, Gibson moves up to the NHL-level with Andersen the starter for the Norfolk Admirals (AHL). What would you do?
Follow me on twitter @ducks_sean!