Carolina Hurricanes Goalie Situation

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Carolina Hurricanes Goalie Situation

Post by CanesChatter on Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:08 pm

Carolina Hurricanes Goalie Situation

Carolina Hurricanes General Manager, Ron Francis, has a difficult decision this off-season. With Canes starting goalie, Cam Ward, set to become a free agent on July 1st, Francis must decide what direction the team should go. There are many different routes Carolina can take. They can re-sign Ward, acquire a starting goalie via trade or free agency, or name Eddie Lack the starter. In this article, I’ll discuss the strengths and weakness of each decision.

Re-Signing Cam Ward


Strengths: Familiarity is a big plus with Cam. He’s spent his entire career in Raleigh.  He was the Conn Smythe recipient in 2006, when the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup. Another reason why he should stay is because the list of goalie free agents this off-season is paper-thin. Besides James Reimer and Jonas Hiller, the remaining net minders are backups. A huge plus will be, being able to re-negotiate a new contract. Ward carried a 6.3$ million annual cap hit. He was one of the NHL’s highest paid goalies, but was never able to put up elite numbers.

Weaknesses: Consistency has been a struggle for Ward most of his career. Every Caniac knows he has the tendency to make a ridiculous save, and then give up a weak goal (mostly on the glove side). During the stretch, in December and January, Wardo was red-hot. Posting a sub 2.00 GAA, and a 93.00% save percentage, the veteran was pushing the Canes in playoff position. But months October and November, continue to haunt Cam. Throughout his tenure, he hasn't been able to get off to a strong start, which causes the Hurricanes to be behind the 8-ball before the All Star break. Another concern is that he is aging. The goaltender just turned 32, so investing in another long-term contract wouldn’t be a good idea for Carolina.

Acquiring a Goalie via Trade

There are some starters that are available this off-season. This list includes Duck’s Frederick Andersen, Star’s Kari Lehtonen, Islander’s Jaroslav Halak, and Detroit’s Jimmy Howard. When GM, Ron Francis, was asked about a potential trade this is what he said:
“We’ll make a decision fairly soon in that regard. When we look at Cam, part of my job is making sure I go through the meetings with my pro guys and assessing what’s out there in the free agent market, and talking to all the other GMs and seeing which goaltenders may or may not be available — and with the ones that are, what the price is.
“As I sit here today, do I want to want to give up a first-round pick for a goaltender that may have a year or two left on his deal, and then we lose him? An older guy? Not really the plan that I’m looking for.
“Cam takes a lot of criticism, but Cam — from December to the end of the year — was one of the top five goalies in the league in goals against and save percentage. I think there’s some merit to revisiting that as we move forward.”

It doesn’t seem like Francis is leaning towards making a move, as the market isn’t too appealing.

Acquiring a Goalie in Free Agency

As stated above, the free agent pool is slim. There aren’t any full-time starters available. It doesn’t make too much sense unless the Hurricanes move on from Ward, and name Lack the starter.

List of Goalie Free Agents:
Player Team Pos Status 2015-16 Salary
Ward, Cam CAR G UFA 6,800,000
Hiller, Jonas CGY G UFA 4,500,000
Backstrom, Niklas CGY G UFA 4,000,000
Ramo, Karri CGY G UFA 3,800,000
Khudobin, Anton ANA G UFA 2,500,000
Reimer, James SJ G UFA 2,000,000
Scrivens, Ben MON G UFA 1,748,000
Stalock, Alex TOR G UFA 1,700,000
Johnson, Chad BUF G UFA 1,600,000
Enroth, Jhonas LA G UFA 1,250,000
Montoya, Al FLA G UFA 1,100,000
Peters, Justin WAS G UFA 950,000
Lindback, Anders PHO G UFA 875,000
Hutton, Carter NAS G UFA 750,000
Gustavsson, Jonas BOS G UFA 700,000
Desjardins, Cedrick NYR G UFA 600,000
Emery, Ray PHI G UFA 600,000
Labarbera, Jason PHI G UFA 600,000
MacIntyre, Drew CHI G UFA 600,000
Smith, Jeremy BOS G UFA 600,000
Zatkoff, Jeff PIT G UFA 600,000
Danis, Yann NJ G UFA 575,000
Dell, Aaron SJ G UFA 575,000
Ellis, Dan WAS G UFA 575,000
Leighton, Michael CHI G UFA 575,000

We move into our last topic: Naming Eddie Lack the Starter

If this is the case and the Hurricane’s want Lack to be the full-time netminder, they would have to sign one of the free agents above to be the backup. The problem with naming “Lacko Taco”, the starter is that he doesn’t have a full season under his belt yet. He has split time in Vancouver and Carolina. Is Eddie ready to be in the crease full-time? His numbers aren’t bad, but they aren’t spectacular either. A career 46-44-15 record, 2.54 GAA, and .912% save percentage, isn’t too appealing.

In my opinion, I believe the Hurricanes should re-sign Ward. My ideal contract would be 2 years, 3$ million, just until Altshuller and/or Nedeljkovic are ready to make the jump to the pros.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you guys think. Go Canes!

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Re: Carolina Hurricanes Goalie Situation

Post by franchiseplayer on Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:49 pm

Good reading. In my opinion this is the Canes biggest issue. Remember the year Cam won the Conn Smythe he wasn't even the starter? Gerber was. And you see from this years playoffs - Jones and Murray... that an established star goalie is not necessary. Given the direction Ron has gone with Staal and other veterans I think Ward should not be re-signed. He has been tremendous for us at times and he's been a great Cane- but it's time to move on. What's the status of Nedeljkovic? I love the idea of giving a young homegrown guy a shot. Also the Calgary goaltending situation is interesing. I like Ramo and Hiller potentially. Anyway, i just think Ward brings a stigma of the old Hurricanes and we need a goalie to compliment the new Hurricanes. Well, thanks for listening. I said this before I'll say it again- whatever Ron decides I support. Is it October yet?

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Re: Carolina Hurricanes Goalie Situation

Post by CanesChatter on Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:53 pm

franchiseplayer wrote:Good reading.  In my opinion this is the Canes biggest issue.  Remember the year Cam won the Conn Smythe he wasn't even the starter?  Gerber was.  And you see from this years playoffs - Jones and Murray...  that an established star goalie is not necessary.  Given the direction Ron has gone with Staal and other veterans I think Ward should not be re-signed.   He has been tremendous for us at times and he's been a great Cane- but it's time to move on.   What's the status of Nedeljkovic?   I love the idea of giving a young homegrown guy a shot.   Also the Calgary goaltending situation is interesing.   I like Ramo and Hiller potentially.   Anyway, i just think Ward brings a stigma of the old Hurricanes and we need a goalie to compliment the new Hurricanes.   Well, thanks for listening.   I said this before I'll say it again- whatever Ron decides I support.    Is it October yet?  
The Hurricanes (2006) and the Penguins (2016) were/are both really deep teams. I'm not sure the Canes are there just yet. They're gonna need a strong goaltender to lead them back to the playoffs. I agree with you on homegrown talent. Nedeljkovic is 20 years old, and needs a year or two in the AHL. Altshuller will most likely be the starter for the Checkers this season. If the Canes are to re-sign Ward, I'd like for it to be short-term. Thank you for your input. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my article. Let's go Hurricanes!

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