Anaheim Ducks Goaltending: Finding Solutions

Anaheim Ducks Goaltending: Frederik Andersen/Anton Khudobin Rumored to be Available

Anaheim Ducks goaltending situation has the hockey world buzzing with recent strong performances by top prospect John Gibson. This should come as no surprise considering the solid numbers he put up in 2014-15. When the season opened, Anaheim looked comfortable playing out the year with two impending free agents in-goal (Frederik Andersen and Anton Khudobin). 

The Ducks had a slow-start out of the gates, struggling to score goals, leaving their goalies hung out to dry early on. Anaheim has since improved its overall play, and although both Andersen and Khudobin haven’t necessarily played poorly, there’s something left to be desired with both their play in 2015-16.

via HNGN,

Andersen, who started the season in net for Anaheim, has a 2.54 goals against average and a .914 save percentage through 16 games, 14 starts, this year. He’s been dealing with the flu since Nov. 21, which opened the door for Gibson. He wasn’t bad during the early portion of the season by any means, but he also hasn’t been a world-beater and, while the sample size is small, he also hasn’t been better than the 22-year-old Gibson.

TSN‘s Darren Drager reported on “Insider Trading” quote via Anaheim Calling,

“Time to keep an eye too on the Anaheim Ducks. Not a strong market for goaltenders, but the belief is that either Anton Khudobin or perhaps Freddie Andersen could be available. It’s based on the play of John Gibson.

“As I said, not a strong market. But keep an eye on what’s going on in Montreal. Perhaps there’s some interest there. Maybe in Calgary.

“The asking price for Freddie Andersen is going to be extremely high, but word on the street is that those goalies are available.”

Anaheim Ducks Goaltending Options in the Crease

John Gibson/Frederik Andersen Tandem

Given John Gibson’s relatively cheap extension he signed earlier this season, the Ducks could conceivably move forward with both goaltenders. Andersen is due for a pay raise next summer, which might work into Anaheim’s favor in contract talks if John Gibson continues to perform. Andersen would be much better suited to assume a 1A type role behind Gibson where the pair splits games in the 50/30 range. Andersen would be utilized much like Scott Darling in Chicago or Antti Raanta in New York. Dependable backups you can turn to if the starter is struggling.

Trade Frederik Andersen

The 26-year-old goaltender has one year left on his contract, carrying a $1.15 million dollar cap hit. He’ll be looking for a pay raise next summer, and it’s unclear whether Anaheim would pay his asking price. If GM Bob Murray doesn’t believe the young pair can co-exist, trading Andersen remains the only option.

Exploring Potential Trade Suitors

Calgary Flames

GM Brad Treliving might be weary of acquiring another Ducks goaltender that’s being forced out. The Jonas Hiller experiment worked well for one season, but fell apart in 2015-16. Unless Calgary thinks one of Jon Gillies or Mason McDonald will ready for NHL action next season, then finding a suitable replacement in the meantime should be top priority.

St.Louis Blues

He wouldn’t be the starter in St.Louis with young Jake Allen finally excelling in 2015-16. But, he could add the same stability that Brian Elliott has offered over the past few years. Elliott has endured a rough start to the 2015-16 campaign, and given the Blues recent playoff history, perhaps an upgrade is necessary.

Anaheim isn’t about to let Frederik Andersen walk for nothing into free-agency, so we should have an idea of GM Bob Murray’s blue-print for the future in-goal. If Anaheim lets the trade deadline pass them by while still carrying both Andersen and Gibson, it should be clear that Anaheim feels the pair can co-exist with one another. What do you think Ducks fans? Would you like to see the two young goalies grow together? Or, do you believe Frederik Andersen is more likely to be dealt?