By Allan Muir
Well, that was Fasth. (Pardon the pun of the day.)
The Anaheim Ducks have apparently seen all they need to know that Viktor Fasth has a future in the organization. The team announced this afternoon that it had signed the 30-year-old rookie sensation to a two-year contract extension worth a reported $5.8 million. The deal will pay him $2.4 million next season and $3.4 million in 2014-15.
Fasth has proved to be a bargain this season at $1 million, with a record-setting 8-0-0 start, 1.78 GAA and .933 save percentage.
Nine games might seem like a pretty thin limb to hang that can of salary on, but the team thinks his track record speaks for itself.
“Viktor has proven himself not only this year in the NHL, but the previous two seasons as the top goaltender in Sweden,” Ducks GM Bob Murray said in a press release. “We are pleased to be able to keep him and feel fortunate to have two top NHL goaltenders going forward.”
Going forward might be the key. The team also has Jonas Hiller on the books for $4.5 million this season and next, so he’ll be a free agent heading into the summer of 2014. Fasth’s deal sets him up to succeed Hiller as the team’s No. 1 at that point…if he hasn’t already.
It also sets Fasth up as a natural bridge between Hiller and top prospect John Gibson. The MVP of the 2013 World Junior Championship was Anaheim’s second-round pick (39th overall) in 2011 and is on the fast track to the NHL. The Ducks also have Igor Bobkov and Danish sensation Frederik Andersen in the system, giving them one of the deepest pools of talent at the position.