The Boston Bruins finally received some quality backup goaltending this season and Rask finally had some nights off to rest. In years past the Bruins have leaned heavily on Rask to play more that 60 games because they lacked a decent backup tender. Well Anton Khudobin stepped up last year and played well when the Bruins needed him but now he’s a UFA, should the Bruins resign him?
Absolutely as long as the price is right. Khudobin was able to play in 31 games last season and 29 of those were starts. The Bruins finally had a backup they had faith in. Khudobin even challenged Rask for starts at the beginning of the season. Khudobin finished with a 16-6-7 record and he held a 2.47 GAA and a .915 SV%. Those are solid numbers out of a backup who is likely due for a pay upgrade. Khudobin only made 1.25 million last season and he outplayed all backups in the league in terms of wins and stats. The most comparable contract for him would be Ryan Miller’s two year 2 million deal in Anaheim. Although, Khudobin would be less likely to get that much because he doesn’t have as much history as Miller.
The Bruins goalie prospects aren’t quite NHL ready and signing Khudobin for a 1 or 2 year deal is what’s best for the Bruins now. The top goalie prospects of Zane McIntyre and Dan Vladar have shown some promise in the AHL but Vladar has only played a handful of games there and when McIntyre was brought up a couple seasons ago he had a tough time in net. By Signing Khudobin now the Bruins gain flexibility with their goalies of the future and allow them to truly develop in the AHL.
If the Bruins choose to look elsewhere for goaltending help some pending UFA’s include Kari Lehtonen, Jaroslav Halak, Cam Ward and Eddie Lack. All are veterans of the league and none of which had better seasons than Khudobin. Khudobin could receive a chance to be a full time starter for another club in 2018 but he has stated he loves being in Boston so let’s hope the money works out and he stays in the black and gold.
– Written By Tyler Smith(@TylerSmith4386)