Outside of Pittsburgh, who is relying on both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to return from their season-ending injuries, there is no team relying as heavily on the health of a star heading into the season as the Anaheim Ducks are with goaltender Jonas Hiller.
Luckily for the Ducks and their fans, reports that have been coming out of late have all pointed to good news for Anaheim and their 29-year-old netminder.
Last season, Hiller was limited to just 49 games because of symptoms of vertigo. He was unable to shake them, and the Ducks had to go with the likes of Ray Emery and Dan Ellis en route to a first round exit in the playoffs.
When healthy, there’s no denying the talent of Hiller. Despite starting just 46 games last year, he posted five shutouts and boasted a very solid 2.56 goals against average.
Initial reports had stated that Hiller was still suffering from some of his symptoms of vertigo. Those must have been the same people reporting that Sidney Crosby was still dealing with concussion issues, because Hiller confirmed this weekend that he is ready to go, and has intensified his offseason regiment just to confirm that he is going to be completely healthy when training camp begins.
Those symptoms had practically called his career into question after a disastrous second half last year. He was limited to just three starts after the All Star break, posting a shutout in one of those, but was limited to a combined 23 minutes in the other two.
The question about Hiller is certainly a good one for Anaheim to have answered with a little less than a month before training camp. That dynamic offense could only carry this team so far. Now until training camp opens up on September 17th, the only question remains whether or not Teemu Selanne will return for another go-around in his Hall of Fame career.