For the second time in three years, the Carolina Hurricanes have three goalies on their roster. In the 2018-2019 season, they had Petr Mrazek, Curtis Mcelhinney, and Scott Darling. It’s Mrazek with Alex Nedeljkovic and James Reimer.
In 2018-2019, It was originally Scott Darling and Petr Mrazek but an injury in the final preseason game left Scott darling out for an extended period of time. So the Hurricanes claimed Curtis Mcelhinney off waivers. By the time they had all three goalies healthy, Darling was the odd man out and was sent to the AHL.
This year, we are just days away from the April 12 trade deadline and the Hurricanes have a problem. It’s a good problem to have but something that will likely be addressed. The season started out with Mrazek playing the majority of games with Reimer being the 1b goalie. Mrazek suffered a broken thumb only 4 games into the season.
It was next man up for Carolina and James Reimer stepped up well. The Hurricanes won 12 out of 17 games with Reimer in net. It took over a week after Mrazek’s injury for Nedeljkovic to get the nod. When he finally did, he didn’t disappoint. The 25-year-old won 8 out of 14 with two shutouts and an impressive .924 save percentage.
Nedeljkovic had finally proved that he belonged in the NHL after numerous call-ups over the years where he didn’t truly play as well as he hoped. Over the span of two months without Mrazek, the Hurricanes were doing excellent with Reimer and Nedeljkovic.
On April 4th against the Dallas Stars, Mrazek made his return in dramatic fashion posting a shutout in his first NHL game in over two months. Two days later, Mrazek won another game for the Canes. He is clearly recovered and doing great for himself.
Now the Hurricanes have some thinking about what they want to do at the deadline if they want to get more pieces on the roster for the playoffs. Since Mrazek’s return, Reimer has been a healthy scratch each night.
If the Hurricanes keep running with the Mrazek and Nedeljkovic duo instead of the usual Mrazek and Reimer, it will look more and more like Reimer is the one the Hurricanes need the least. Not that Reimer isn’t valued by the Hurricanes, but it would be a waste for him to be a healthy scratch each night.
We have no idea if Carolina will make a trade even if it seems likely. All we know for sure is Carolina has three good goalies and only two can dress each game. It is easier to share a net between two goalies than three goalies.