The Dallas Stars have brought in another veteran goaltender, signing the recently bought out Braden Holtby on a one-year contract. Eric Engels of Sportsnet reports that it will be a $2MM deal for Holtby, which certainly raises some further questions about the health of Ben Bishop.
One of the more unpredictable moves of the day, Dallas now finds themselves with four NHL-caliber goaltenders for the coming season in Holtby, Bishop, Anton Khudobin, and Jake Oettinger. Oettinger is still waivers-exempt, if the Stars want to go that route, while Bishop’s injury could see him back on LTIR, leaving a tandem of Holtby and Khudobin. The team may also plan to trade one of Khudobin or Bishop.
Whichever way the Stars go, it seems Holtby will play an important role for the team in 2021-22. While his short stint with the Vancouver Canucks did not go well, Holtby is still a decorated NHL netminder and at 31 should still have plenty of gas left in the tank. As a short-term, relatively low-money gamble, Holtby could be a nice addition as a reclamation project. If he returns to form, the Stars will have at least two good goalies no matter which direction they go. If that isn’t enough to get them back into the playoffs, then he also becomes a valuable trade chip in February. Compared to some of the other contracts handed out to goaltenders today, Holtby’s new pact looks like a wise investment, even from a team without an apparent need in goal.