As the Edmonton Oilers try to finalize a few little details heading into the 2021-22 NHL season, there is one bigger detail that could still require attention. The goaltending tandem of Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith is not the tandem Ken Holland necessarily wants to run the season, but it’s one he can live with based on back-to-back campaigns that saw the Oilers make the playoffs. But, if there’s an update out there in the marketplace and it’s not going to cost Holland an arm and a leg in terms of assets, expect the GM to be having those conversations.
This brings us to recent speculation surrounding netminder Anton Khudobin. A couple of NHL media outlets have picked up on the chatter the Dallas Stars might be looking to move a goalie after signing Braden Holtby to an unexpected contract in free agency. Khudobin could be the piece that gets moved and he might be of interest to the Oilers.
During the latest 31 Thoughts podcast, Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman speculated Edmonton might have interest if Khudobin shakes loose and is available at the right price. The conversation suggested the Oilers are still looking for a solution to their goaltending dilemma. Once Darcy Kuemper got traded to Colorado, many of the available names were no longer available. Marek said, “But I would not be surprised at all if come opening night, it’s Anton Khudobin, starting netminder, Edmonton Oilers.
Friedman said it was a fair guess to make and did think the Stars would be moving a goalie.
Is Khudobin a Good Fit for the Oilers?
The veteran netminder has two years left on a deal paying him an AAV of $3.33-million. That’s not a huge commitment, nor a big amount of money. He does have a modified no-trade clause, which means he’d need to ok a trade to Edmonton and the Oilers would have to find a way to move Koskinen’s money out.
Then, of course, there’s the question about whether or not it’s a good idea to run with two older goaltenders. Mike Smith is 39 years old. Khudobin is 35 years old. Injuries at that age are always going to be a concern, but neither Smith nor Khudobin have shown any real signs of slowing down. In Khudobin’s case, his numbers took a bit of a dip this past season, but he’s still got much better numbers than either of Edmonton’s current options. In the last three seasons, he’s posted a 44-36-16 record with a .920 save percentage saving 31.4 goal above average.
Next: Numerous Sharks Teammates Want Evander Kane off Team [Report]
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