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Gibson Is Anaheim’s Future, But Can He Win It All?
By Michael Walters
It’s a big day for John Gibson as he marries his fiancee Alexa DelGreco in Pittsburgh. Gibson also signed an eight-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks worth just over $51 million. The annual average value(AAV) of the deal is $6.4 million. A few more bottles of champagne will likely be popped tonight as a result.
The message is clear from the Anaheim Ducks: John Gibson is the future of the team in net.
Last season Gibson did record career highs in games (60), save percentage (.926), total saves (1,733), and wins (31). He also had four shutouts last season adding to the 10 he had in the previous two seasons. His save percentage was second only to Pekka Rinne‘s .927(goalies who played 50+ games). His regular season save percentage over the last three years was .924, which is only second to Antti Raanta. Gibson’s record in the past three seasons is 77-47-20.
Gibson has been a great regular season goalie for Anaheim, but the playoffs tell a different story.
He has appeared in 26 games in the last four postseasons earning 11 wins and dropping 13 games. He has a .912 save percentage and 2.80 goals against average in the playoffs. This recent postseason saw his worst performance as he lost all four games, had .889 save percentage, and 3.60 goals against average. All the blame can’t be put on him, however, as the Ducks as a whole didn’t show up against San Jose. His playoff numbers do still raise the eyes of his critics.
In terms of the financial aspect of the deal, the Ducks are in line with Connor Hellebuyck‘s deal. The Winnipeg goalie’s deal was six years worth $37 million, $6.167 AAV. Anaheim did go two years farther out, but the AAV is about the same. The Ducks didn’t shell out Carey Price money($84 million deal for over eight years), which included a no-movement clause. Gibson’s deal does have a limited no-trade clause, but it doesn’t start until 2021. His deal also comes in under Pekka Rinne and Tuukka Rask, who both have $7 million AAVs.
The concern for some is Gibson’s history of injuries. This past season there were a few situations where he had to exit games early due to injuries. His critics question his durability and point to eight years as being too long of a contract. He did start in 60 games last season, which is up from 49 the year before and 38 in the 2015-16 season. He has been trending upward in games played in recent seasons, but awkward collisions(sometimes with his own players) last season didn’t allow him to play as many games. Fans and experts around the league will continue to look at his durability as his career unfolds.
Gibson has not won a Stanley Cup Final or been a Vezina finalist, but Anaheim’s General Manager Bob Murray still feels he is still their guy. “I believe in John Gibson, as does everyone in the organization,” Murray said in a statement issued by the team today. “This is obviously a major commitment by the club, but one we feel strongly about. John is equally committed to being a Duck. He is only now entering the prime of his career, and we are all confident his best is yet to come.”
“I’m excited to be a part of this organization for the long term,” Gibson said in a statement. “It’s great to be a part of the future of this team moving forward and hopefully bring a Stanley Cup back to Anaheim.”
Gibson is certainly the future of Anaheim in net, but will he bring home Lord Stanley? Only time will tell.
Isac Lundestrom Signs Entry-Level Contract
According to Swedish hockey reporter Henrik Sjoberg, Lundestrom signed an entry-level contract with the Ducks. The AAV is $925,000. The deal does have a European clause allowing him to go back to Europe if he doesn’t play in the NHL.
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August 4th, 2018