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Abel to Yzerman

Why The Carolina Hurricanes Moved Alex Nedeljkovic

from Sara Civian of The Athletic,

Nedeljkovic was in a unique situation as a 25-year-old pending RFA goalie with only so many NHL games under his belt. The way he swooped in during Petr Mrazek’s injury and excelled had potentially earned him a big payday. He was arbitration-eligible and asking for a contract with a $3.5 million average annual value. That was already high from the Hurricanes’ perspective, and if they went to arbitration, there was some risk of the salary being set even higher.

The lack of comparables to point to — goaltenders who had made it to the NHL on similar paths — made it hard to predict the outcome.

“We tried to get a contract done with Ned, and we couldn’t get one done. The agent was playing very hard,” Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said in an exclusive interview with The Athletic on Thursday. “He’s got an arbitration case that (could have paid him) somewhere around $3, $4, $5 million....

But why couldn’t the Hurricanes have avoided arbitration by just paying the $3.5 million he was seeking?

While Nedeljkovic has tons of potential and is coming off a great season, the Canes weren’t ready to take a big-money chance on a player with a relatively small sample of success.

Let’s remember that Nedeljkovic has only played 29 regular-season NHL games. Yes, he has a .928 save percentage over that span and was in the top five in goals saved above expectation this past season, but he also has a .904 save percentage across a concerning larger sample: 154 games in the AHL. And in his only NHL season with more than one game played before 2020-21, he had an .887 save percentage and 3.05 GAA.

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Comments

dougie's avatar

You can always build a case to defend any position you take. I do it every day with my spousal unit.

The Canes unwillingness to spend on Ned is symbolic of why I think the Canes achieved their high water mark this past season. I was kinda hoping that they would attempt to cheap out on Brindy’s contract, and put him out in the market for Stevie to snag!

Posted by dougie on 07/23/21 at 06:58 AM ET

SauceBoss's avatar

Makes sense.

Upside outweighs the downside though. And if things don’t work out here then he’s only signed for 2 years and both sides can move on

Posted by SauceBoss on 07/23/21 at 08:45 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Let’s remember that Nedeljkovic has only played 29 regular-season NHL games. Yes, he has a .928 save percentage over that span and was in the top five in goals saved above expectation this past season, but he also has a .904 save percentage across a concerning larger sample: 154 games in the AHL. And in his only NHL season with more than one game played before 2020-21, he had an .887 save percentage and 3.05 GAA.

This was the main concern I mentioned yesterday.  It’s not much of a gamble on a 2 year contract though, and the Wings org has plenty of money to spend as well as a guy who SHOULD be a #1 goalie already.

I don’t know how much money Carolina thinks they can get away with paying their goalies, but they might end up needing to call David Aryes to see if he’s interested in being their backup.

Posted by TreKronor on 07/23/21 at 09:29 AM ET

Avatar

I know their cap is a little tight but you’d think with Cup asperations the Canes would have been able to afford both Bernier and Ned. Carolina could easily regret this decision. If it goes bad for Detroit, not a big problem.

Posted by evileye on 07/23/21 at 10:16 AM ET

Avatar

I am surprised at the “fleece” talk… I mean, I get it.  I don’t get why Carolina wouldn’t pay him 3… but maybe they figured they could get a more sure thing for roughly the same price or a bit more that was more of a guarantee for them with the cup aspirations?

Either way, he could be a flop but this is exactly the kind of trade I love.  Low cost, for a potential solution to one of our problems, he managed to keep the contract short and we have the money to risk due to our cap situation. A great move for us.  Not a sure thing, but the type of move we need to be making, I love it.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 07/23/21 at 10:56 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Saw that he has a wife or girlfriend who is going to school at MSU. Maybe they asked where he’d want to go,?

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/23/21 at 11:23 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

You can always build a case to defend any position you take. I do it every day with my spousal unit.

Posted by dougie on 07/23/21 at 06:58 AM ET

That’s the chuckle of the day right there.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/23/21 at 11:39 AM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

No brainer trade for Yzerman. Beautiful done. Low risk and low compensation.

The only problem I have with this trade is spelling, typing and pronouncing Nedeljkovic. He needs a nickname or I need a to type his name a few hundred times. And Please not Neddy. ugh.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 07/23/21 at 12:09 PM ET

Avatar

Isn’t that the hockey way.  It will be Neddy, or Nedder, or Neds. lol

Posted by DieByTheWing on 07/23/21 at 01:57 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com