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Anton Khudobin On Nickname, Harry Potter, And Being A Backup Goaltender In Dallas

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Getting to know one of the new signees from this offseason.

Boston Bruins v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

When Anton Khudobin was 17, Alexander Radulov gifted him with the nickname “Dobby”. A decade and a half later, the two are now teammates on the Dallas Stars hockey club.

Khudobin signed in Dallas because of the level of interest the organization expressed in the 32 year old. He said he told his agent that he wanted to sign with a playoff team, and his agent listened - Khudobin believes the Stars are there.

He’s ready to be a backup, exuding a sense of confidence in the role he’s going to play behind Ben Bishop this season. He knows it’s all about being ready when he’s tabbed to start games. “If Coach decides to put me in 10 games in a row, then great. If not, I have to be ready for whatever his decision will be.”

While other backup goaltenders have expressed similar thoughts in seasons past, hardly any of them did it with the confidence of coming off one of their best statistical seasons in recent years. Khudobin had a 2.56 goals against average and a .913 save percentage in 31 games last season with the Boston Bruins. That kind of performance would do wonders for the Dallas squad, and Khudobin indicated that for him this season, it’s about maintaining his level of play.

Khudobin seems to be a good fit for the team on the ice. But his off-ice personality is a different intangible asset he can bring to the team.

At yesterday’s media availability, Khudobin wore a t-shirt featuring Russia president Vladimir Putin on a 90’s-style background wearing sunglasses. Obviously, Khudobin does not take anything too seriously.

Apparently that includes Harry Potter, too.

When asked about featuring Dobby the House Elf from the famous book and movie series, Khudobin freely admitted that he has never seen a single movie in the Harry Potter franchise. Emphatically and upfront he stated as much. He hasn’t considered watching the movies now that Dobby is on his mask (and knowing how many hours of travel the Dallas Stars have in the Western Conference, he could easily fit in the series this season.)

“I think it’s a great movie for kids. I mean, I know I’m a kid too at 32, but to be honest, I never had interest. I don’t know why, maybe it’s something like from the other world, like magic or myths, I don’t like that.”

So....not a science fiction fan, then. Mark that down as another new thing Stars fans can say they know about the new backup goaltender.

Khudobin has spent this summer making cameo appearances in the Instagram posts of Radulov and Valeri Nichushkin. He was quick to point out that there is no “Russian squad” in Dallas, and that he’s been busy bonding with the rest of his Stars teammates too.

No word on whether he’s offered them any Girl Scout Cookies, though.