Hurricanes open to shifting a goaltender
After Alex Nedeljkovic has been successful in recent weeks and Petr Mrazek is about to return from his thumb injury, Carolina is approaching a goalkeeper jam on her hands, and James Reimer is also in. Speaking to The Athletic’s Sara Civian (subscription link), GM Don Waddell stated that the Hurricanes are comfortable with having three goalkeepers on the active roster for the remainder of the season, but also suggested that he be by 12 April would be open to a move Good:
If we want to do something at the close of trading, maybe one of the chips is one of our goalkeepers. I can’t tell which one. It depends on.
Nedeljkovic was pretty much on the run in March, scoring an SV% of 0.939 in seven starts. While Nedeljkovic approved the exemptions back in January, it is safe to say that if the hurricanes try again, especially with the frequency with which goalkeepers have been used since the start of the regular season, he is safe to say.
As for Reimer, he’s had a decent season with a GAA of 2.68 and an SV% of 0.909 in 17 appearances, numbers that are exactly around his career average. He’s not a starting goalkeeper at this stage in his career but he would represent an upgrade for several teams in the substitute position.
It would be hard to imagine Mrazek being moved at this point. Limited to just four games that season due to the thumb injury, he went into the season as a suspected Carolina’s starter (or at least 1A to Reimers 1B). While Nedeljkovic is on a good run right now, it probably wasn’t enough to make his seasoned goalkeeper dispensable at this point.
It’s worth noting that Carolina has some degree of cap flexibility and can add more than $ 6 million in full-time salaries per CapFriendly. While none of Carolina’s goalkeepers are doing much (Reimer is at the top at $ 3.4 million, Mrazek at $ 3.15 million, and Nedeljkovic at just under $ 738,000), the Hurricanes are certainly not in a situation where the cap will be set , what is happening. You can easily afford to carry all three of them the rest of the way. Both Reimer and Mrazek are also waiting for unrestricted free agents.
What does Waddell want to add, be it with one of his goalkeepers or something else? He told Civian that a right-back would be ideal as the Hurricanes only have two on the roster in Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce. So it would make sense to add another one to balance out their third pairing. Defenders are parts that move a lot during this time, but it shouldn’t take any of their goalkeepers to move one unless they have their goals a little higher in their sights. We’ll see where Waddell will ultimately go in the coming weeks.