One of the top storylines for the Dallas Stars this offseason is if they will be able to lock up Anton Khudobin long-term.
The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported that both the Dallas Stars and goalie Anton Khudobin are open to working out a deal. Khudobin is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Khudobin played a critical role in the Stars coming two wins away from a Stanley Cup title. He recorded a 14-10 record allowing 2.69 goals per game in the playoffs. The regular season was even better with a 16-8 record and 2.22 goals-against average.
According to sources, Stars GM Jim Nill has reached out to Khudobin’s agent, Kent Hughes, about working on a new deal.
“We plan to speak with Jim and will try to make it happen,’’ Hughes told The Athletic Friday.
Many believe should the Stars bring Khudobin back, they would have to sign him to a deal around $3.5 million to $4.25 million. He was previously getting $2.5 million per year the past two seasons with Dallas. The biggest question comes in terms of the length of the deal and how long Dallas is willing to give him.
How long Dallas will offer Anton Khudobin
The amount of the contract will be in question for Dallas as they work on their salary cap. Dallas will most likely offer Khudobin one of the highest contracts in the NHL. As to how long the team can lock him up will be a whole other question.
At 34 years old, Khudobin appears to still be playing at a high level, but how long can he keep performing at a high level?
Dallas will make him an offer and it should be around two or three years on the contract. There could be a scenario where another team offers the same amount of money for more years. With the future in mind, it could be the last deal Khudobin signs so he most likely has intentions of getting at least a three-year deal.
Regardless of how long they keep Khudobin on the team, there is one other question they will have to answer with him potentially staying on the team. Would the team make any changes to their goalies?
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Will the Dallas Stars keep both Khudobin and Ben Bishop
The argument could be made that Khudobin and Ben Bishop are one of the best goalie combos in the NHL. It isn’t known quite yet whether Khudobin’s free agency decision would make an impact on what they would do with Bishop. Dallas’s cap hit with Bishop on the team will be $4.91 million per season for three more years.
The league has seen more teams turning to a two or three goalie rotation. With uncertainties with how the NHL will approach next season with COVID-19 still on everyone’s mind, Dallas should consider bringing back both.
If Dallas feels like Bishop is too expensive at just less than $5 million, then they could look at trading him away in the offseason. Both goalies are starting-caliber players so it might be smarter to keep both in case of injury.
Dallas will most likely keep both goalies to keep the core players from last season’s Stanley Cup team. Bringing Khudobin has to be one of their most important decisions to make in the offseason. Stars fans will be hoping to see Khudobin back in front of the net next season.