The Nashville Predators are struggling to win consistently this season, currently holding a record of 8-8-2 and sitting at 6th in the Central Division. Part of the reason they can’t seem to string together a bunch of wins is the fact that they’re currently missing their franchise goalie, Pekka Rinne.
Rinne has been sidelined for a little while now after an infection in his hip required surgery. Though he’s expected to make a full recovery, he won’t be close to returning anytime soon, with some reports saying he may be on the shelf for six to eight weeks. In the meantime, backup goalie Carter Hutton has struggled to give Nashville’s front office the confidence that he can protect the net in Rinne’s absence. His GAA is an underwhelming 3.53, coupled with a .887 save percentage. With the Predators trying to bounce back from a rough 2013 season, they can’t afford to stick with Hutton if he doesn’t get his game together.
According to the rumor mill, the team is already sending feelers out to see if the solution to their goalie woes is on somebody else’s roster. Pierre LeBrun reported via TSN that Nashville has reached out to the Anaheim Ducks and the two teams have had discussions about the availability of Jonas Hiller.
Currently, the Ducks are rolling. They’re 15-4-1, which gives them 31 points overall, tops in the entire NHL. In net, they seem to have plenty of options besides Hiller. Frederik Andersen has won six of his seven starts this year, thanks to his .943 save percentage. Likewise, Viktor Fasth has held his own as well. Though his GAA is an unimpressive 3.33, he’s 2-1 in net.
It doesn’t make too much sense to hold three netminders on your roster, and though Hiller is having a good season, he’s also in a contract year. If the Ducks have a couple options they’re already comfortable with in net, while also fielding calls from a team desperate for goaltender help, it makes plenty of sense to discuss a trade for Hiller.
No names have been brought up as possible pieces in the potential deal, but it’s very possible a trade between these teams could be win-win. Nashville could really shore up their goalie situation, looking even better once Rinne gets back, while Anaheim could find themselves in a “rich get richer” type scenario. Stay tuned to see how this all turns out.