Canes general manager Jim Rutherford said today that either Manny Legace or Justin Peters would be Cam Ward's backup in goal next season.
The Canes signed Legace to a one-year, $500,000 contract in early November when Ward was sidelined with a slashed leg. Peters, who also is being paid $500,000 on the NHL level, will become a restricted free agent after the season.
"Those two have made very good cases for themselves and it will be one of the two," Rutherford said. "Both are at different points in their career, and either would be a good fit for us."
At the same time, Rutherford noted it was very important that Ward, who has been out since Feb. 3 with back problems, return and play a few games this season. Ward has returned to practice and is expected to start a game next week.
"We'll feel so much better when he goes back out on the battlefield," Rurtherford said. "We need for him to play some games and see how his back responds. It's still a test at this point.
"The worst thing would be to go into training camp next season, Cam hurt his back again and need surgery and for us to go through this again."
Legace, 37, began the season with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL and Peters, 23, was in Albany.