3.) Goalie Situation
The Canes goalie situation was wild from day 1. mere days before opening night, Scott Darling gets injured and in comes Curtis McElhinney. Thus began a saga with ups and downs that eventually settled into a two-man rotation with Mrazek and McElhinney sitting on similar footing.
The offseason brings the drama back, as now we sit with four goalies, three of which will be free agents and one who is likely to be bought out of his contract. With Darling unlikely to be with the team next season, That leaves UFA Mrazek, UFA McElhinney, and RFA Alex Nedljkovic. Nedeljkovic is coming off a superb season where he was named AHL Goalie of the Year. To top it all off, Goalie Coach Mike Bales resigned his post recently, leaving who to lead and develop this enigmatic group as another question mark.
How this all shakes out will be vital for success in the future. Re-signing Ned is a no-brainer, but is he ready for the NHL? If so, which of the others do you re-sign? The best case scenario as I see it is re-sign Mrazek and call up Ned as the back up. Losing McElhinney’s calming, veteran presence will hurt, but moving toward young stars is more likely to secure the future of the position.