The Anaheim Ducks
announced Friday that goaltender Jonas Hiller
has been training both on and off the ice for the past month in Switzerland and is free of vertigo symptoms -- encouraging news for one of the team's most important players heading into the 2011-12 season.
"I’m very excited about the upcoming season," Hiller said from Switzerland in a statement released by the team. "I’m happy to be feeling better and looking forward to getting back with my teammates. It’s been a long process but I feel great, and I’m ready to help this team win."
Anaheim is set to open training camp on Sept. 17.
Hiller won 26 games, posted a .924 save percentage and was selected to the All-Star Game last season, but he played in just three games after Feb. 1 due to the recurring vertigo symptoms. The Ducks were forced to go with a combination of Dan Ellis
and Ray Emery
in goal down the stretch and lost their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series to the Nashville Predators
in six games.
The 29-year-old Hiller, signed by the Ducks as an undrafted free agent, debuted with the team during the 2007-08 season. He posted a 2.06 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in 23 games and gradually wrested the No. 1 job away from veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere
over the course of the following two seasons.
Hiller started all 13 playoff games for Anaheim in 2009, leading the eighth-seeded Ducks to a stunning first-round upset of the top-seeded San Jose Sharks
in the first round and helping them extend the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings
to seven games in the Western Conference Semifinals before Detroit prevailed. Hiller finished the playoffs with a 2.23 GAA and a sparkling .943 save percentage.
Hiller set career highs the following season with 59 appearances and 30 wins, numbers he was set to eclipse last season before his ailments began.