The Carolina Hurricanes were dealt a tough blow this week when Frederik Andersen’s health was questioned. The Danish netminder has a blood clot issue and will be out indefinitely.
First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are out for Frederik and we hope for a full recovery as indicated by General Manager, Don Waddell.
This season has begun with ups and downs, Andersen was not immune to this as well. With spurts of brilliance, the 34-year-old has had some downright awful moments as well. Not all the fault of the goaltender as per the norm but still a reflection on the 6’4 tall Dane.
The team has recalled Pyotr Kochetkov and I believe that he should see the bulk of the play but so far that has not been the case. Antti Raanta has played well between the pipes but it is only a matter of time before he falls to his own injury.
As an insurance policy, Waddell has brought Jaroslav Halak into the fold on a Professional Try Out.
Either Waddell does not have confidence in Kochetkov or he has just found the only goalie willing to sign for a tryout. Kochetkov has proven that he is durable and can succeed at this level. The need for Halak is unnecessary.
Due to the inept managing of the minor league system, the Canes do not have an AHL team so the normal concern for goaltending depth in the system is not needed for Carolina. So again, why would Halak be needed right now?
Could Waddell be letting Raanta play a lot now and see if he gets injured in the Halak tryout period?
Either way, let’s take a look at the career of Halak.
The 38-year-old Bratislava native has 295 career wins in 581 games played. Over the span of his career, Halak has played for the St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadians, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, and most recently the New York Rangers.
Halak would be very helpful against his most recent team as he has been stellar against the Rangers and more specifically in Madison Square Garden.
Unfortunately, the Canes can’t carry a goalie for just one or two games a season. The 17-year veteran has his most victories and games played with the New York Islanders.
Last season in New York, Halak played in 25 games with a 2.72 GAA and .903 save percentage. A solid season as a backup goalkeeper but he won just 10 of those appearances.
The journeyman is looking for 5 more victories to reach the milestone but I am not sure that he will ever see the ice in Carolina. He does not provide a better option right now but Raanta will have to decide that.