If the Edmonton Oilers decide to look to trade to solve their need for a new backup/tandem goaltender (and given the weakness of the free agent crop, they may), the most obvious target is the Anaheim Ducks.
An Abundance of Riches
|Jonas Hiller||NHL||$4.5MM||UFA/2014||15-6-4, 0.913 SV% on the season, career 0.917 SV%.|
|Viktor Fasth||NHL||$2.9MM||UFA/2015||15-6-2, 0.921 SV% on the season; 46GP, 0.934 SV% in SWE last year|
|F. Andersen||AHL||$1.8MM||RFA/2014||24-18-1, 0.929 SV% on the season; 39GP, 0.943 SV% in SWE last year|
|John Gibson||OHL||$0.9MM||RFA/2016||17-9-1, 0.928 SV% on the season; 7GP, 0.955 SV% in WJC this year|
|Igor Bobkov||AHL||$0.9MM||RFA/2014||11-17-0, 0.903 SV% on the season ; 6’5" goalie is a rookie pro|
There may not be a team in the league with a better goaltending system than the Ducks. In Hiller, they have a legitimate starter, in Fasth a guy who can compete for the starting job right now, in Andersen and especially Gibson two first-rate prospects, and in Bobkov a legitimate prospect arguably superior to anyone in the Oilers’ system right now.
The three guys worth really looking at for the Oilers are Hiller, Fasth and Andersen.
Even with all the talent the Ducks have on the way, it seems a long shot that they would be willing to trade Hiller, their playoff starter (aside from a game two letdown, he has been tremendous against the Red Wings in the first round, with a 3-2 record and 0.930 SV%). At 31 years of age, he’s still in the prime of his career; the only reason his name can be included is because of the quality of Anaheim’s other goalies.
In a shortened NHL campaign, Fasth managed to give Hiller a run for his money as starter, and his exceptional rookie performance in the NHL is backed by years of brilliance in Sweden. The negatives here are that he’s a little on the small side (6’, 186 pounds) and despite being a rookie he turns 31 in August. The Ducks might possibly be induced to move him because of the quality of prospects they have coming up (19-year old John Gibson has yet to play a season of professional hockey, but he’s already starring for Team USA at the World Championships); he would be a real threat to Dubnyk for the starting job if the Oilers could pry him loose.
Andersen, already Denmark’s go-to goaltender in international competition, might be the best trade target of the group. He’s big (6’4”, 247 pounds), young (turns 24 in October) and unlike Hiller and Fasth hasn’t had a brilliant season in the NHL – yet. With Fasth in the majors, and Gibson turning pro, the Ducks just might be willing to move him and he’s bound to cost less than either of the team’s NHL ‘tenders. His AHL and SEL record is impeccable; based on his performances in those leagues he’s ready for a backup job in the NHL.
Sign up for StreakCred – the new playoff pool game from the Nation Network. For only $20 you can win solid prizes and a portion of the proceeds go to supporting the MS Bike Tour and the Edmonton Down Syndrome Society. Sign up here.
Recently around the Nation Network
- Leafs Nation: Breaking down a scapegoat
- Canucks Army: Mike Gillis won’t make any hasty decisions
- Strudwick: Back to Sweden!
- Nation Profile: Rem Murray
- Brownlee: Bidding for grit
- Gregor: Oilers need many changes to compete
- Willis: The Oilers’ record when they fight
- Willis: Should the Oilers consider keeping Nikolai Khabibulin?
- Follow Jonathan Willis on Twitter!