The Carolina Hurricanes have announced that Jaroslav Halak has joined the team via a free-agent try-out in response to Frederik Andersen facing a medical issue. The team shared that Andersen is undergoing further evaluations but provided no further update.
Andersen has played in six games this season, setting a 4-1-0 record and a .894 save percentage. It’s a slow start for a goaltender who has been otherwise stellar in his time with the Hurricanes. Through a combined 92 games with the Hurricanes over the last three seasons, Andersen has recorded a .914 save percentage and a 60-26-4 record. That ties Andersen with Anton Khudobin for the second-highest save percentage in Hurricanes history, among goalies with 50 or more games with the club. Trevor Kidd leads the pack, with a .916 through his 72 games with Carolina. Andersen’s 92 games are also the 10th-most in Canes history.
In lieu of Andersen, Carolina will now turn to another veteran in Halak. The 38-year-old goaltender has continued to find his way into NHL lineups, most recently playing 25 games with the New York Rangers last season. He set a .903 save percentage in those games, contributing towards the career .915 save percentage that Halak has set in 581 career games.
But despite ample experience, it’s been a while since Halak served as a starter, with the last season that he played in over half of his team’s games coming in 2017-18 with the New York Islanders. Halak was unsurprisingly stout in the Islanders net that season, setting a .908 save percentage and 20-26-6 record through 54 games. Halak hasn’t recorded a save percentage below .900 since the lockout year of 2012-13, when he tallied a .899 through 16 games with the St. Louis Blues. He is a reliable, veteran goaltender that should add some consistency to a Carolina goaltending room that’s now without its starter.