Dallas Stars Daily Links: Checking In With Anton Khudobin

The fan favorite is looking more like his best self in Cedar Park. Can that help him return to the NHL? Plus, Battle of the Brothers update, why those digital ads are more than just annoying, and more.

It’s been a while since Anton Khudobin wore a Dallas Stars uniform. But he hasn’t given up on his career. And that attitude could still pay off.

Sean Shapiro, who’s been recruited by D Magazine’s StrongSide to return to occasional Stars writing, caught up with Khudobin back in November. His latest piece is a candid assessment of the 36-year-old netminder’s career status – including his recent post-surgery resurgence with the Texas Stars:

His most likely path back into an NHL crease winds through a trade to another organization. Khudobin has accepted that reality. More importantly, he has a general manager in Jim Nill who is willing to accommodate him....

“The most important part of this story is that Anton Khudobin still wants to play in the NHL,” Nill says. “He could have shut it down; he didn’t. He dedicated himself to coming back and giving himself a chance. We had to make a tough choice and signed [Scott] Wedgewood, and he didn’t let that stop him.”

Of course, Dobby’s $3.33 million cap hit is the biggest reason why his return to Big D has stalled, and his contract hasn’t looked like one of Nill’s good moments in the current freeze situation. But it has paid off in other ways, as Shapiro enumerates:

“He’s the most confident player I’ve ever coached in what he’s good at and what he’s not good at,” [Texas Stars head coach] Neil Graham says. “He understands himself better than anyone. He’ll say, ‘Yes, I can do that,’ and ‘No, I can’t do that,’ with the confidence needed to set fair expectations for us as coaches and himself. It’s an amazing thing anyone can learn, not just the goalies.”...

“You see it where he just elevates practice and drives guys to be better,” [team captain Curtis McKenzie] says. “He pushes us. He pushes the team. You can’t have a bad practice, I think, when he’s out there chirping and pushing and striving to be better than you.”

Sean has much more. [D Magazine/StrongSide]

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#Death Notes

  • It was a rough night for the #MDK’s away teams, starting with the Colorado Avalanche’s loss of both Nathan MacKinnon and the Philadelphia Flyers game, 5-3. [Mile High Hockey]
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