Dallas Stars backup goaltender Anton Khudobin has been a huge pickup when the team signed the veteran to a two-year, $5MM contract back in 2018. However, with that contract wrapping up, Khodobin has made it clear, he’d like to remain with the Stars. However, the Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks writes that may not be as easy as it sounds.
To begin, his NHL leading .930 save percentage (albeit in 30 games) would likely prompt a raise from the $2.5MM per season he’s making now. The best comparison would be his former home where backup Jaroslav Halak just got a $2.25MM one-year deal with a $1.25MM bonus if he plays 10 games in 2020-21. However, Khudobin is 34 years old and isn’t eligible to performance bonuses on his next contract, making it more challenging considering the team’s cap issues.
Another problem is that Khudobin would likely get more than a one-year deal on the open market and with top goaltending prospect Jake Oettinger close to being ready to being a backup to Ben Bishop (likely in 2021-22), the team may not want to stand in the youngster’s way, meaning the team may not want to bring Khudobin back on anything more than a one-year pact.
- The Colorado Avalanche were without Calder Trophy nominee Cale Makar for Sunday’s scrimmage after the blueliner left practice early on Saturday, according to NHL.com’s Rick Sadowski. No word on why Makar left practice. Coach Jared Bednar didn’t talk to the media, but teams aren’t allowed to comment on NHL injuries anyway. Makar left before special teams skills as Samuel Girard replaced Makar on the first power-play unit. The 21-year-old scored 12 goals and 50 points in just 57 games.
- NHL.com’s Brandon Cain reports that there has been little to no progress on a potential new contract for Chicago Blackhawks restricted free agent Slater Koekkoek. In fact, the defenseman said he wasn’t even sure if his agent has even had a conversation with general manager Stan Bowman. “I’m not sure if my agent and Stan [Bowman] have had conversations yet. I would obviously love to re-sign here in Chicago.” Koekkoek came over from Tampa Bay back in 2019 where he was having trouble breaking into the Lightning’s lineup. The 26-year-old played in a career-high 42 games with a goal and 10 points last season and could be a useful six or seventh defenseman on the Blackhawks’ roster.