When word hit streets that the St. Louis Blues had passed on the chance to re-sign goalie Ryan Miller, the veteran netminder who took his team to the playoffs in top form but failed to produce in big games against the Chicago Blackhawks, rumors swirled attaching Miller’s name to the Anaheim Ducks‘ organization.
Given the fact the Ducks seem to be in the midst of some goalie shake-ups, the stories seemed perfectly plausible. That is, until the Ducks gave word they were not interested in signing Miller, but rather would stay with goalies Frederik Andersen and John Gibson in net for next season; Anaheim’s previous starting goalie, Jonas Hiller, will enter free agency and has done everything but actually confirm he will not be returning to the Ducks.
The idea of not signing a veteran and going with the youngsters for next season has seemed to cause a bit of uneasiness for those looking toward Anaheim’s future. Granted, the days after a team’s playoff elimination are never really the best time to feel secure in a franchise’s future, especially in terms of goalie talks after the Ducks lost in Game 7 by a 6-2 score.
But backing up a bit and looking at the situation from a broader perspective shows Anaheim doesn’t need Miller, nor a more veteran goalie of any different name, to succeed next season and have another extremely bright shot at winning the Stanley Cup.
Both Andersen and Gibson have proved they have the raw talent to follow through for a team such as the Ducks. Hopefully GM Bob Murray will work on solidifying Anaheim’s blue line core to create a stronger defensive presence for both goalies.
Gibson will most likely be backup to Andersen, and in looking back during Andersen’s games played with the Ducks this past season, panic should not be settling in along the coast of Orange County. This tandem may be young, but what they lack in years, both have more than made up for in their abilities to see the game better than some netminders with more than a couple years on them.
Ducks fans should be excited for what this duo will bring to Anaheim next season. This franchise has already shown raising goalies is one of its greatest strengths and the Andersen-Gibson combination should be nothing less than dynamite in October.