The Anaheim Ducks are off to a hot start this season, largely in part to rookie net-minder Viktor Fasth. In a sign of appreciation, among other things, the Ducks have signed Fasth to a two-year, $5.8 million contract extension.
In eight games started this season, Fasth has recorded a perfect 8-0-0. Recording only 16 goals against, he currently posts the six best goals against average with a 1.78 and the seventh best save percentage with .933. His impeccable record, including a shut-out against the Colorado Avalanche where he faced 31 shots, makes him a bargain of a deal.
“You always try to do your best and play your best, try to help the team as much as you can,” Fasth said in a phone interview with TSN. “That’s what I’ve been trying to focus on, and that’s what I have to keep doing, to do my part.”
Fasth, at 30-years of age, hails from Sweden. He was signed to be the backup to starter Jonas Hiller, but has seen ice-time due to Hiller recovering from a lower body injury. His signing came to a measly $1 million, and with his extension to avoid him becoming an unrestricted free agent, will be paid $2.4 million in next year, and $3.4 million the year after that. Simply put, Fasth has maximized his opportunity to not only play in the NHL for seasons to come, but making decent money doing so.
When Hiller returns to full health, Anaheim will have two competing goalies for that full-time role. While it is uncertain if one of them will become dominant, taking most of the starts, it is plausible they could move to a two-goalie system like the St. Louis Blues. Last year the Blues relied on both Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot, who combined, posted a stellar 1.78 goals against average and a .932 save percent with 49 wins. They also contributed to 15 shutouts.
Regardless of how the goalies play out in Anaheim, off to a 12-2-1 start and currently leading the Pacific Division by 6 points, the Ducks have surprised the NHL community and becoming a potential Stanley Cup Contender. With the extension of Fasth, the team could very well be such a contender for years to come.