The Carolina Hurricanes got some good news today on the injury front. Starting goaltender, Pyotr Kochetkov, was activated off the injured reserve. After suffering what appeared to be a concussion, the young Russian has been skating and making strides. Even so, the Canes picked up Spencer Martin for security.
Martin registered his first win as a Hurricanes goalie in his first game in Carolina red. Martin beat the top team in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins. The Bruins pushed late in the game but Martin showed some skill and poise.
With the return of Kochetkov, the Canes have three healthy goaltenders available to start. This seems to have been a theme since last season when Kochetkov had his break-out party. Frederik Andersen ended up returning from injury and ultimately regaining the starting position. That does not seem to be the case for this season as Andersen is not close to returning.
Still, without Andersen, the Canes have three viable options once again. Martin could head down to the AHL and potentially be back shortly with the injury history of the current goaltenders. Something tells me there was a more thought-out plan when claiming Martin off of waivers.
Management had brought veteran goalies into Raleigh for tryouts and plenty of other veteran goaltenders became available via trade or waivers. So why is it Martin at this time with Kochetkov making strides? Was it just for his one start to spare Antti Raanta? I do not believe so.
Martin was brought here under the assumption that he would be a candidate for the AHL but would get the majority of his time with the big club. I believe that long-term, Andersen may be done with hockey and the Canes know that they will need another goaltender to pair with Kochetkov. Martin will have the first shot at it and prove that he can replace Raanta next year and beyond.
Martin will get another start while Kochetkov gets himself comfortable and back in game shape. The rest will be up to health and performance.