Another goaltender has been extended early, as the Anaheim Ducks have extended Dustin Tokarski another year on a two-way deal. The team needed a goaltender to expose in the upcoming expansion draft or risk losing John Gibson.
Tokarski for his part hasn’t actually done much to deserve the extension, as he currently has a .889 save percentage in the AHL in 16 games. The team acquired Tokarski from Montreal in the middle of last season for prospect Max Friberg when Gibson was injured. He got into one game for the team earlier this season in relief.
This is the second backup or minor league goaltender, including Al Montoya the other day, that has received an extension well before it was necessary to do so. This is likely teams giving themselves some certainty heading into the unknown of the expansion draft. Every team needs to expose at least one goaltender that is signed through the 2017-18 season (or is an RFA this summer). Both Jonathan Bernier and Matt Hackett in Anaheim are free agents this summer.
Minnesota and Philadelphia are in similar situations, with Darcy Kuemper, Alex Stalock, Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth all becoming unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. Expect them to make similar moves in the next few months to make sure that Devan Dubnyk and Anthony Stolarz can be protected.