is expected to miss 4-6 months due to a shoulder injury, according to Carolina Hurricanes’ President and General Manager Jim Rutherford.
Rutherford said the injury occurred within the last week, and the 35-year-old goaltender will be udergoing surgery in the coming days.
Justin Peters, who is an impending unrestricted free agent, now figures even more heavily into the goaltending conversation for the coming season.
“Even prior to that injury to Boucher, with the way Peters played last year – he got to play more games in Charlotte, which is why we signed Boucher, and with the way he played when he came up here – he has always been in the mix of conversation of being one of our two goalies this coming year,” Rutherford said.
Peters compiled a 10-13-4 record in Charlotte last season with a 2.77 goals against average and .908 save percentage. Though he and Mike Murphy split the goaltending load for the majority of the season, he was relied on heavily down the stretch. Peters was named the AHL’s Goaltender of the Month in November, as he posted a 5-1-1 record with 1.63 goals against average and .949 save percentage.
In seven games with the Hurricanes in 2011-12, Peters had a 2-3-2 record with a 2.48 goals against average and .931 save percentage. He recorded his first NHL shutout on Feb. 20, making 17 saves in a 5-0 win over Washington.
Rutherford said the organization will likely not make a decision on signing a goaltender until after July 1.
“Obviously this thing with Brian’s injury gives Justin a better chance, but the fact that we’re this close to July 1, we’re probably going to wait a few days into [the free agency period] to make a decision,” he said.
With the deadline to buy out contracts being Saturday, Rutherford said the team would not look toward that option for Boucher, who has a year remaining on his contract.