NHL rumors: Canes looking to deal Justin Peters or Anton Khudobin?

Peters (right) could be headed elsewhere soon. (Getty Images)
Peters (right) could be headed elsewhere soon. (Getty Images)

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Between Cam Ward, Anton Khudobin and Justin Peters, the Carolina Hurricanes have a crowded crease. Each goalie has proven to be a more-than capable tender at the NHL level.

It's a good problem to have but it's a problem nonetheless. As you know there is only one net to tend at a time, leaving two guys out. With Khudobin about set to return from injury, the Hurricanes are facing the position of having three goalies and carrying them on the active roster, for if they try to send Peters back down to the AHL, they will surely lose him for nothing on the waiver wire.

This is how trade speculation is born. Elliotte Friedman of the CBC says that Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford could reduce his goaltending stable by one and perhaps very soon.

Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford threw cold water on rumblings that Cam Ward might be the goalie he moves. Rutherford wouldn't comment further, but it is believed he will work to move either Anton Khudobin or Justin Peters by this week's trade freeze.

One wouldn't think there would be much of a challenge moving either goaltender. Each is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season and both make less than $1 million (in Peters' case his cap hit is just $537,500) but produce at a level greater than that indicates. Cheap, short term, quality goalies? What's not to like?

Khudobin has missed the majority of the season but is expected to return in a game soon enough. In his limited action he put up a .929 save percentage and 2.00 GAA behind the starter Ward.

Meanwhile, Peters has been acting as the backup in Khudobin's absence and has been just as strong, posting significantly better numbers than the well-compensated starter Ward. Peters actually leads the team in starts and games played, one more (17 games, 16 starts) in each category than Ward. In that time he has also put up a .929 save percentage and a goals against average at 2.16. Ward meanwhile has a .901 save percentage and 3.04 GAA. But Ward also has a much tougher contract to move with a cap hit exceeding $6 million through the next three seasons.

There is little indication on what the Hurricanes might seek in return but they'd be willing to take on just about any position, you'd figure. The offense has been down this season and they could use a quality defenseman (but what team couldnt?). What they don't need, though, are three goalies.

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