Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times reports the Chicago Blackhawks have sent down goaltender Anton Khudobin to the Rockford Ice Hogs of the AHL. Khudobin was called up last week with Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek dealing with a groin injury, but Mrazek was full recovered today and took a spot as the team’s backup with Alex Stalock starting against the Minnesota Wild.
Khudobin becomes the odd man out once again and will head back to the minors where he has spent most of this season. The Russian goalie has played 23 AHL game, all with the Texas Stars, before a trade deadline deal sent him to the Blackhawks organization. His inclusion in the deal was mostly to make the financials work and keep the Dallas Stars under the salary cap when they acquired Max Domi for Khudobin and a second-round draft pick.
Khudobin suited up for one game with the Blackhawks, allowing six goals to the Washington Capitals, including a stickhandling gaffe by Khudobin that gave Conor Sheary an empty net to put the puck in.
While Khudobin helped the Stars reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2020, and signed a three-year contract with a $3.33MM cap hit that offseason, he has struggled in the past two seasons and only played ten NHL games in that time. He could very well be playing out his final pro season in North America after 16 seasons, including many as one of the most trusted backup goaltenders in the NHL.