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Canadiens Interested in Anton Khudobin?

The Montreal Canadiens may be interested in a goaltender out of Dallas who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

What do you do when you’ve invested $10.5 million in a starting goaltender that you have under contract until the 2025-26 season? So too, what do you do when you need a viable backup?

The answer is, either trade your starter and start again, or make wise decisions when it comes to who backs that starter up.

Sportsnet’s Eric Engels recently was asked about backup goaltender options for the Montreal Canadiens and he noted that the Canadiens may have their eyes on a player, but the decision isn’t necessarily a slam dunk.

The target is Dallas Stars’ Anton Khudobin who becomes a free agent at the end of the season. The price tag is probably somewhere around $2.5 million per season (the same as what he’s making now.) The tandem would be a good one, but the cost would also be potentially problematic.

That’s a Lot Of Money Tied Up in a Tandem

While the Canadiens likely have the cap flexibility to try and sign Khudobin, it’s fair to argue that $13 million is a lot of money to have tied up in your goaltending. The problem is, unless the Canadiens are comfortable running with starter Carey Price for 70-plus games (something he’s only done once), then running with a backup who makes half of what Khudobin will, any combination will be expensive for the Habs.

That leaves GM Marc Bergevin with an interesting decision.

All that said, Khudobin is a good choice. He played in 30 games last season, posted a .930 save percentage and a 2.22 goals against average. The season before, he played in 41 games and posted numbers that were not much worse. He is a legitimate backup that would be worth the money.

In Other Canadiens’ Trade News

Engels believes the Canadiens will consider trading Brett Kulak because the team is likely to add both Alexander Romanov and Ilya Kovalchuk. This makes Kulak expendable and his affordable salary may be attractive for some teams.

Even if Kulak doesn’t bring back a big return, it does give the Canadiens some options.

Related: Ex-Winnipeg Jets’ Dale Hawerchuk Says No Hockey

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