During Tuesday’s Morning Skate we asked what you thought the Nashville Predators needed to do about the goaltending situation. The results did not show a lot of confidence in Carter Hutton and were overwhelmingly in favor of looking for outside help.
Pierre LeBrun is reporting that the Preds have talked with the Anaheim Ducks about acquiring Jonas Hiller. There is no deal yet as the Preds told Anaheim they need some more info about Pekka Rinne‘s condition before making a decision.
Hiller is a 31-year-old Swiss goaltender and has been the Ducks main starting goalie since 2008-09 until last season when he shared starting duties with Victor Fasth. Fasth has struggled a bit this season, but the play of Frederick Andersen has been outstanding and the duties are again being shared. Anaheim also has first-round pick John Gibson in the minors right now, Gibson is generally seen as the best goaltending prospect outside the NHL. Hiller has one year left on his contract and it would be very unlikely that he is back with the Ducks after this season, or even finishes the season there. Hiller’s career numbers are comparable to Rinne’s and he could provide a solid stop-gap until Rinne returns and even allow Rinne some rest down the stretch.
With the upcoming stretch of games, and the Preds current level of play, they should make a deal sooner rather than later. Even if Rinne is only going to miss a handful of additional games, it looks like the back-up position may not be as strong as anticipated. Adding Hiller now should provide better goaltending in the short-term and give Barry Trotz a proven option to consider when deciding how much to play Rinne over the rest of the season.
One problem may be, who do you trade to the Ducks? The Preds would need to move some salary to get Hiller in the mix and the Ducks do not need a goalie swap. The Ducks probably do not want to take on much salary so they can maintain flexibility going forward and will probably want some draft picks.
Let’s see your proposed deal in the comments.