Happy Tuesday, everyone. Day Two of free agency in the NHL was not quite as jaw-dropping as it was in the NBA, but there were still a few names signed. However, since the Dallas Stars didn’t do much yesterday, we’ll start by taking a look at the Stars’ goaltender situation.
One of the Stars’ main positions to address entering free agency on Sunday was backup goalie. Kari Lehtonen is gone and the Stars needed someone that they could rely on to start in 20-plus games this year, and they found that man in Anton Khudobin:
In the last two seasons with Boston, Khudobin was 23-12-8 as the reserve. The Stars will need at least 20 starts by Khudobin to help keep Bishop healthy. He has missed 80 starts in the last two seasons.
Khudobin, 32, thinks of himself as having the talent of a No. 1 goalie but accepts that he has been branded as a backup and is comfortable with the designation. Many No. 2 goalies cannot grasp that and become frustrated in the role.
Not only that, but the Stars convinced Colton Point to end his collegiate career and become a professional, which will hopefully garner him some valuable experience in the short term and get him ready to join the big leagues sooner rather than later:
The Stars lured Point away from returning to Colgate for his junior season. The sales pitch included the strong possibility of immediate playing time in the system.
Point, a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the top collegiate player last year, will compete with prospect Landon Bow for playing time. The Stars could have the ideal development situation of one prospect starting with Texas of the AHL and the other starting with Idaho of the ECHL.
You don’t win games in July, but Stars fans can find hope in the seemingly stable and relatively (compared to recent years) deep franchise goaltending situation. See more from Gerry Fraley at the usual spot. [SportsDayDFW]
Speaking of Khudobin, he got the Sean Shapiro film room treatment:
Film Room: Breaking down new Stars backup goalie Anton Khudobin https://t.co/GIMsNWC6OI— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) July 2, 2018
Around the League
Free Agency Day Two:
- The Carolina Hurricanes signed Dan Renouf to a one-year contract. [CBS Sports]
- Jumbo Joe Thornton inked a one-year deal to return to San Jose. The Sharks also extended Tomas Hertl for four years. [ESPN]
- The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed the fantastically named Slater Koekkoek for one year. [Tampa Bay Times]
- The Calgary Flames signed former Star James Neal to a five-year deal and also signed Derek Ryan for three. [ESPN]
This is an interesting development on the Erik Karlsson front. Rumor has it that he’s looking for something in the Drew Doughty range:
The deserved backlash from the fanbase of whatever team potentially rolls the dice on Voynov would be pretty bad:
ICYMI: What NHL teams considering Slava Voynov should know https://t.co/mfACX5IGpY— Katie Strang (@KatieJStrang) July 2, 2018
I’ve never understood the jersey burning thing, especially when a team has a front office, bad track record, and weird hockey arena like the New York Islanders and it’s totally understandable why players would want to leave:
Down Goes Brown takes a look at the winners and losers from the opening flurry of free agency: