It was quite the season for Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic. He cleared waivers to start the year and was expected to serve as their taxi squad netminder but an early injury to Petr Mrazek gave him an opportunity to play and he seized it, posting a league-best 1.90 GAA and a .932 SV% in 23 starts and was similarly stingy in the playoffs. Despite that, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes in his latest 31 Thoughts column that Carolina appears to be giving some consideration to not tendering Nedeljkovic a qualifying offer. It’s not that they don’t want to keep him but rather that they’re worried about what an arbitration award would be.
With just 29 career regular season appearances, there are few close comparables for Nedeljkovic although Jordan Binnington of St. Louis could be one with the similarities in career trajectories. He signed a two-year deal after his only full NHL campaign with an AAV of $4.4MM. That’s below the walkaway threshold of $4.538MM per PuckPedia (Twitter link) which could give them some pause. If the Hurricanes go that route, it doesn’t guarantee he’d leave but Nedeljkovic would certainly be an intriguing late addition to the UFA market.
More from the Metropolitan Division:
- Capitals winger T.J. Oshie has not been given any indication from the team that he will be left unprotected in the expansion draft, relays J.J. Regan of NBC Sports Washington. Oshie has long been a speculative target for Seattle although with the year he had offensively – 43 points in 53 games – he’d undoubtedly be a big loss for Washington. While Oshie doesn’t have a no-move clause and thus doesn’t need to be notified in advance if he was being exposed, Regan suggests this could mean that the Caps intend to have the 34-year-old on their protected list when it’s submitted a week from today.
- While the Rangers could wait until after the expansion draft to finalize a buyout of Anthony DeAngelo in the hopes of working out a deal for Seattle to take him (a route that most teams are expected to take with their buyout candidates), Mollie Walker of the New York Post reports that this won’t be the case. Instead, the team is expected to make that move official in the coming days as the window to do so is now open. As only one-third of the remaining salary is owed, New York will carry a dead cap charge of $383K next year and $883K in 2022-23.