John Gibson Sent To Minors: Should He Stay There?

The ever excellent reporter Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register had some interesting news to report this week, sending the hockey community into a bit of a frenzy:

Many had the young John Gibson taking over the Anaheim net at some point this season (except for some dude), but his horrid performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins combined with some quietly outstanding work by Frederik Andersen has flipped that narrative, and it now appears that the starting role is Andersen’s to lose, so long as he keeps up his string of good performances. As coach Bruce Boudreau has already shown with this promotion, he won’t hesitate to go with the hot hand at any time, even if it might run against the NHL development of a highly touted prospect like Gibson.

Gibson Can Benefit From AHL Trip

This recent development should not at all be spun as a demotion for John Gibson; if anything, he stands to benefit a lot more from consistent starts in the American Hockey League, where he can continue acclimating himself to the pro game while building his confidence instead of having to worry that every wrong turn could get him a seat on the bench for extended periods of time. Keep in mind that at 21 years of age, he has only 45 games of minor league experience and is only two seasons removed from his last major junior game for the Kitchener Rangers.

In a not too distant past, it could have been argued that Carey Price should have spent much more time in the AHL, rather than getting thrown into the fire after only one playoff run (which got him a playoff MVP trophy) and a handful of regular season games. Luckily for the Canadiens, Price is a generational talent and it ended up working out, but there were some major hiccups along the way. Could Gibson eventually become a goaltender of Price’s ilk? The similarities are there: a decorated international career at a young age, a solid run in the Ontario Hockey League, and a large frame to boot. However, the Ducks are now in a position where they have a goaltender in Andersen that is playing extremely well, affording them the luxury of taking their time in the Pittsburgh native’s development. They would be foolish not to take advantage of that, as they are in a position to properly groom Gibson into a franchise goaltender.