The Anaheim Ducks boasted one of the better goaltending duos in the league in 2013, with the combination of the veteran Jonas Hiller and the rookie Viktor Fasth helping them grab the no. 2 seed in the Western Conference. They’ll head into the 2013-14 season with the same duo, but beyond that, the future in the Anaheim net is a bit cloudy.
Despite the fact that Fasth saw a pretty good chunk of the starts during the season, Hiller is still the unquestioned starter between the two. He played the entire postseason as the no. 1, and will head into the 2013-14 season as the no. 1 guy. But despite the fact that he’s still the starter in Anaheim, he’s likely playing for his job this year.
Hiller has one year left on his contract, with a $4.5 million cap hit. While he was solid last year, he was clearly outplayed by Fasth in the regular season, as Hiller posted a goals against average of 2.36 and a save percentage of .913. Neither figure is terrible, but you’d like more from your no. 1 guy.
The postseason was more of the same. He wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t necessarily a guy who was going to go in and steal games for the Ducks, as evident by their first round exit. His GAA went up a touch, to 2.46, while he did boast a higher save percentage, at .917, and one shutout.
The Ducks are in a position where Hiller may not necessarily have a future with them in net. Fasth will also be 31 before the season gets underway, but the Ducks have some strong goaltending prospects in the system. Names like John Gibson and Frederik Andersen, and even Igor Bobkov, come to mind.
Between having Fasth in the fold, and a nice mix of younger goaltenders already in the system, the Ducks may be prepared to part ways with Hiller when this season is over. That’s assuming, of course, that he doesn’t return to the elite level that he flashed briefly a few years ago. But the 2013-14 season may be the last we see of Hiller in an Anaheim sweater.