In case you missed it earlier today the Detroit Red Wings acquired goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for pending free agent Jonathan Bernier and a 3rd round pick.
According to NHL insider Chris Johnston, the Hurricanes elected to move on from Nedeljkovic because of their concern over what his salary might be pending the results of offseason arbitration. Nedeljkovic was expected to receive a deal somewhere in the neighbourhood of $3.5 million per season moving forward and evidently notoriously frugal Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon wasn't interested in that kind of payment.
As it turns out, Nedeljkovic signed a very reasonable two year deal worth $3 million per season minutes after being acquired by Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings. Suffice it to say that fans across the NHL were scratching their heads on this deal and... well it's safe to say that Yzerman knows he absolutely fleeced the Hurricanes.
Yzerman on why the Hurricanes traded Nedeljkovic:
That's awesome. Again, Yzerman knows that we all know he pulled off an absolute steal. This is about as wry and ironic as you'll ever see Stevie Y get.
To me, $3 million on a relatively short term deal seems like a good salary for a guy who just cemented himself as an everyday NHL starter and who received significant support for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year. Great pick up by Yzerman and the Red Wings and yet another example that money will always be at the root of decision making for Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon.
The 25 year old Nedeljkovic posted a sparkling .932 save percentage and 1.90 goals against average in 23 games with the Hurricanes this past season, his rookie season. To me, he looks like a guy with a ton of potential and has the makings of a perfect fit for the Red Wings moving forward. At 25 years old and with some experience in the AHL he won't be one of the team's young guns, but he's young enough that he can grow and develop with this team's core over the next 5-7 seasons. Again... what a solid get by Yzerman and the Red Wings.
Source: - · Photo Credit: Zuma Press