Here's another contributor audition from Alex.
Last year, in the offseason, there were many concerns about the Ducks lineup. The one issue not among them was goaltending. We felt safe behind our clear-cut number one: Jonas Hiller. We even thought that Curtis McIlhenney would be a capable backup.
This year, goaltending isn't just an issue, it's a big red question mark.
Most fans who have been following the team know that Jonas Hiller was pivotal to the Ducks making the post-season this year. Before the All-Star break, he would play so well that we would win games on the back of his solid play alone. He was one of the best goalies in the league, and was in serious mid-season talks for potentially winning the Vezina trophy (the trophy given to the best goalie of the year). He was also the only goaltender in the Western Conference to be selected to play in the All-Star game.
Unfortunately, after that game, Hiller went down with Vertigo-like symptoms that still afflict him. Vertigo is a condition that slows reaction time and is rarely cured.
This poses problems for our lineup, as we may need to begin looking for a new starting goalie. McElhinney was unable to handle the workload of a number 1. As a result, Murray acquired Ray Emery and Dan Ellis. Emery was a question mark because of his injury, and Ellis was because of his history. Still, the two split time and played well enough to keep Anaheim's hopes alive.
Currently we have Dan Ellis under contract. Ray Emery is a free agent and is likely to test the market. The Ducks recently signed Finnish goaltender Iiro Tarkki to a one year deal. In 55 games he had a 20-20-14 record in the SM-Liga with a 2.09 GAA and 5 shutouts.
He and Ellis aren't enough to hold the fort, should Hiller remain afflicted. Here are some free agent tenders that the Ducks may target: Vokoun, Bryzgalov, Roloson, Nabakov, Osgood, (RFAs) Varlamov, Crawford. The FA pool isn't particularly strong this year.
Another option the Ducks could look at is Swiss goalie Leonardo Genoni. He is 23 years old and plays in the same league and on the same team that Hiller did before coming to Anaheim. He recently played for Switzerland vs. Canada in the WC. In that game he made about 56 saves and allowed Switzerland to take Canada into an overtime they eventually lost. Still, his resume is impressive, and his stats are actually better than Hiller's were. Davos fans even say Genoni will be remembered more than Hiller.
Here are both player's stats
Genoni with HC Davos at age:
20yo, 49GPl, 19-15-0, 2.29 GAA, 5 SO
21yo, 46GPl, 26-14-0, 2.66 GAA, 2 SO (NLA Champion)
22yo, 49GPl, 33-16-0, 2.30 GAA, 2 SO
23yo, 34GPl, 24-10-0, 1.90 GAA, 5 SO*
Hiller with HC Davos at age:
22yo, 43GPl, 26-12-4, 2.24 GAA, 8 SO (NLA Champion)
23yo, 44GPl, 23-16-5, 2.45 GAA, 3 SO
24yo, 44GPl, 28-16-0, 2.60 GAA, 3 SO (NLA Champion)
*season in progress.
Should Hiller retire, it wouldn't be a bad idea to look at this guy and maybe bring him to Anaheim.
Either way, something has to happen. An unstable situation in net can be pretty bad for a team (see Hiller and Giguere's battle for the #1 spot). It will be interesting to see what Mr. Murray does this summer.