Viktor Fasth is back and healthy enough to play, but he’ll need to get his skates under him in the AHL before returning to the Anaheim Ducks. The team suddenly has an incredibly crowded crease with Jonas Hiller and Frederik Andersen both playing incredibly well at the NHL level.
Fasth hasn’t played since October 16, and Andersen has become one of the most outstanding stories in the NHL since then. If anyone can relate to a relatively unknown goalie exploding onto the scene, it’s Fasth. Andersen’s story reads a lot like that of Fasth at this point, and that will force “yesterday’s news” into the minors on a long-term injury conditioning stint.
As per Anaheim’s official website:
…the Ducks have assigned left wing Matt Beleskey and goaltender Viktor Fasth to Norfolk (AHL) on Long-Term Injury Conditioning Loans.
This creates a very interesting situation for the Ducks. They currently posses three NHL-caliber goaltenders and will likely move one of them in some sort of trade at some juncture. Slipping Fasth to the minors buys the team’s brass some time to figure out if Andersen is just a flash in the pan or if he’s the real deal.
Making the situation even cloudier is the way that the three netminders contracts fall. Hiller’s pact is up at the end of this season, while Fasth won’t be a free agent until two years from now. Andersen has the longest contract out of all three, and has a three-year term with Anaheim.
It’ll be interesting to see how the team irons this out. The Ducks are among the best teams in the NHL right now and could “Cup up” by flipping a goaltender for win-now assets. Or they could hang tight and continue to build a strong future like they did with the Bobby Ryan deal.