The Carolina Hurricanes made one of the first moves after the NHL trade freeze was lifted this afternoon by reportedly moving RFA goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic to the Detroit Red Wings for a 2021 third-round pick and the rights to UFA netminder Jonathan Bernier.
The initial report was made by TSN and The Athletic’s Pierre Lebrun and the return was corroborated by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Nedeljkovic return is a third and Jonathan Bernier— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 22, 2021
The Canes had reportedly been stuck with Alex Nedeljkovic as the team didn’t want to end up overpaying him if he went to arbitration, but the amount that Nedeljkovic’s camp was asking for seemed to be just in the $3.5 million ballpark according to the Daily Faceoff’s, Frank Seravalli.
The ask for Alex Nedeljkovic with #Canes was in the $3.5 million AAV range.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 22, 2021
However, after being traded, Nedeljkovic reportedly signed a 2 year, $3 million AAV deal.
Alex Nedeljkovic has agreed to terms on a 2 year contract with Detroit. $3.0M AAV.— Rich Evans (@Hockeyagent) July 22, 2021
It seems that the Hurricanes’ front office was not fully sold on Nedeljkovic’s performance this season and instead of potentially overpaying for him, they elected to move on to a different option.
The Canes still do not have a goaltender under contract for next season as Bernier is still a UFA. At this point, he and Carolina have not agreed to a deal.
Update: The team has confirmed the trade with an official release.
‘CANES ACQUIRE BERNIER, PICK FROM RED WINGS
Nedeljkovic traded to Detroit
RALEIGH, NC – Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired the rights to goaltender Jonathan Bernier and a third-round pick (94th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for the rights to goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic.
Bernier, 32, registered a 9-11-1 record, 2.99 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 24 games with Detroit in 2020-21. The 6’0”, 185-pound netminder has earned a 161-159-39 record, 2.77 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and 18 shutouts in 394 career NHL games with Los Angeles, Toronto, Anaheim, Colorado and Detroit. Bernier has represented Canada internationally at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning gold, and the 2011 IIHF World Championship. The Laval, Que., native was drafted by the Kings in the first round, 11th overall, of the 2006 NHL Draft.
Nedeljkovic, 25, registered a 17-7-4 record, 2.01 goals-against average, .928 save percentage and three shutouts in 29 career NHL games with Carolina. In 154 American Hockey League (AHL) games with Charlotte from 2016-20, Nedeljkovic earned an 89-45-14 record, 2.57 goals-against average, .904 save percentage and 14 shutouts. The Parma, Ohio, native was drafted by the Hurricanes in the second round, 37th overall, of the 2014 NHL Draft.