Earlier this season, Jonas Hiller's name popped up in trade speculation, his future with the team very much in doubt. In the end, the Ducks hung on to Hiller, who was playing well, and dealt Viktor Fasth to Edmonton, taking a chance on their veteran.
Hiller faltered down the stretch and lost his starting job first to rookie Frederik Andersen and then to another rookie, John Gibson, in the playoffs. With his contract up at the end of the season, it seems pretty clear what lies ahead for Hiller.
It's just as clear to Hiller now that the season is finished.
Not surprisingly, Jonas Hiller said he figured Game 7 relief appearance was final game in a Ducks uniform.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) May 19, 2014
Hiller: "Thinking about it kind of makes me feel sad because I had quite a few great years here."— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) May 19, 2014
The writing on the wall is obvious enough for him to already know his fate. Just like that, the offseason goalie market just added another former all-star, joining Ryan Miller.
Although undoubtedly Hiller will have a tougher time finding work in the NHL this summer than Miller. The Swiss native hasn't posted a save percentage above .913 in any of the past three seasons. Combine that his age on the wrong side of 30 and it shouldn't endear him to the few GMs who might be in the market for a new, veteran goalie this summer.
As for the Ducks, well it does leave them with a question; will they look to replace Hiller with a veteran or are they willing to go with the combination of Andersen and Gibson? Gibson certainly looked like a goalie who is ready for the NHL but no doubt he could use a little more time in the AHL to develop ideally. If the Ducks do look for somebody to fill Hiller's skates, well Miller will be a hot name given his interest in being in California and near his wife, an actress.
Hiller did finish this season going 29-13-7 but really struggled after the Olympic break when he was in net for Team Switzerland. That continued into the postseason when he had a .906 save percentage in six appearances.