Outs: Curtis McElhinney, Greg McKegg
The one position that the Carolina Hurricanes needed to address was goaltending. Petr Mrazek and Scott Darling just weren’t a good duo for the team. Thankfully, they were able to rely on 36-year-old backup Curtis McElhinney to play 33 games for them.
In that span, he posted a 2.58GAA and a 0.912SV%. They aren’t earth-shattering numbers, but for a backup, those are numbers that give you the confidence to put him out there when you need to.
Unfortunately for the McElhinney took his talents to the Tampa Bay Lightning. I don’t blame him. If Tampa comes calling for you, you go. There’s no income tax, they have year-round warm weather, and you have a real chance of winning the Stanley Cup as soon as next year.
That’s fine, he was just the backup. If the Canes could get a quality starter, they could potentially put some other goalie behind him.
But the Hurricanes couldn’t drag one of the bigger name keepers out there. Sergei Bobrovsky went to Florida (the Canes dodged a bullet there), and Robin Lehner went to the Chicago Blackhawks. So the Hurricanes kept Petr Mrazek for two more years.
The Hurricanes clearly don’t trust Mrazek and retained his services because he’s better than some of the other options that were available in free agency. The two-year deal is very much a “show-me” situation for the 27-year-old keeper.
It’s a gamble for the Hurricanes who are hoping James Reimer (who they acquired via trade) and Petr Mrazek can give them at least league average goaltending in 2019-20.