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The Goaltending Situation In Carolina

from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,

Waddell and the Canes traded goalie Alex Nedeljkovic to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. Again, it was a money thing. Nedeljkovic was a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and seemed more than willing to go to arbitration and let a mediator determine his salary.

Instead, Nedeljkovic was traded for the rights to Red Wings goalie Jonathan Bernier and a 2021 third-round pick. Just like that, a goalie who was a 2021 Calder Trophy finalist and a fan favorite was dealt away, leaving a number of Canes fans confused and irked that the guy known as “Ned” was leaving.

“The Ned thing is tough,” Waddell said. “Ned played good here. We got in a situation, he’s been in the organization for five years, we’ve watched him for five years. He played good here, he had 20-something good hockey games. We just felt that with the situation that we were in, he had [arbitration] rights, we couldn’t work out a deal and maybe we need more experienced goalies in here.

“We made a decision as an organization. Everybody was involved — goalie coaches, coaches, ownership, everybody. We didn’t sit down on an island and make this call. You watch a player and you find out what he’s all about. He got on an unbelievable hot streak this year. We can’t deny that. He’s such a great kid and you’re happy for him and wish him nothing but success. But we also thought that going forward maybe we wanted to go with a more veteran-looking goaltending duo.”...

Will a Mrazek-Bernier tandem eventually be the “veteran-looking” duo Waddell mentioned? Maybe.

“We’re wide open,” Waddell said. “We’re approaching it that we think it’s an opportunity for all these guys because we don’t have a starting goalie. We’re approaching this open-minded.”

more plus the Canes trying to sign Dougie Hamilton before UFA day on July 28th...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink


ilovehomers's avatar

He says its strictly a money thing, but Ned wasnt asking Price money or Rask money. The references to his hot streak and his “20-something good games” makes me think that they did not have confidence; regression is coming.

Just how bad that regression is will be the key.

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/25/21 at 07:41 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

They have watched him more than anyone, so I would imagine they have a pretty good idea of what he’s all about. They obviously didn’t feel comfortable with relying on him and at 3 or 3.5 a year so they had no issues trading him.

I am concerned about both Greiss and Ned being consistent for the Wings. Bernier was very very dependable but I’m nervous we’ve got two guys now who are going to be very hot or cold. It seemed like Greiss was finding some consistency at the end of last season Suu gleefully that’s the theme going forward.

Posted by TreKronor on 07/25/21 at 08:20 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Dunden may get away with low-balling Parking Attendents, Zamboni Drivers, Ticket Takers, Concession Workers, Skate Sharpeners, Training Staff, Secretaries, Assistant Coaches, Head Coach, and GM….but not so sure that works on players, but I could be wrong???  confused

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/25/21 at 09:16 AM ET

d ca's avatar

Nedeljkovic’s arbitration rights and the Canes wanting and essentially clearing enough salary to sign Hamilton was the issue.

If Nedeljkovic didn’t work out a contract (and wasn’t qualified) by:
(July 26th – Deadline for Qualifying Offers to Restricted Free Agents) August 1, 2021 at 5:00pm ET he could elect arbitration.

When the player files the club decides 1 year or 2 year term. A date later in Aug is set. Then an arbitrator would have taken his numbers:
23 games 15-5-3 with a 1.90 GAA and 0.932 save % regular season, 4-5 2.17 .920 playoffs

plugged them into to a formula that sought another goalie with comparable numbers and spit out a number. That number was estimated it could have been as high as 5M: it doesn’t matter what the ask by the player or the offer from the team. The arbitrator could have awarded based on performance and comparables. And if the award was for $4,538,957 or less the club couldn’t walk away from the contract. That would have meant it didn’t matter how cheap the Canes GM wanted to be—-he would have been stuck paying it and that cap hit would have presented a problem.

Posted by d ca on 07/25/21 at 11:49 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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