NHL goalie signings: Khudobin sticks with Stars, Sens give Murray big money
Goalies are dominating the early headlines of 2020 NHL Free Agency, including the Dallas Stars signing Anton Khudobin, and the Ottawa Senators giving Matt Murray a stunning contract.
Stars sign Khudobin to three-year contract
Heading into 2020 NHL Free Agency, many expected Anton Khudobin to be priced out of Dallas. Nope, apparently not.
The Stars found a way to sign Khudobin, 34, to a three-year contract. Pierre LeBrun reports that the contract totals $10 million, so the cap hit would be about $3.33M per season.
LeBrun shared the interesting structure of the deal:
Khubodin deal is finalized with Dallas: three years and $10 M total.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 9, 2020
year 1, $2.5 M
year 2, $3.75 M
year 3, $3.75 M
No doubt, Khudobin became more prominent in the hockey mainstream during the Stars’ run to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final. For those who zoomed out, they saw a pretty big picture, too.
Khudobin generated a .930 save percentage in 30 games in 2019-20. He’s been fabulous in Dallas the past two seasons in general (.926 save percentage in 71 GP) and has an impressive .919 save percentage for his career.
The Stars maintain one of the best goalie tandems in recent seasons with Khudobin and Ben Bishop.
That said, the main problem with Khudobin is the larger qualm with that tandem. Khudobin is 34, while Bishop turns 34 on Nov. 21. Both of their contracts expire after 2022-23. That said, this gives Jake Oettinger plenty of time to develop, and Bishop - Khudobin have been lights out.
Overall, the Stars’ decision to sign Khudobin makes quite a bit of sense.
According to Cap Friendly, the Stars have about $10.66M in cap space.
[PHT’s 2020 NHL Free Agent Tracker]
Senators bet big on Matt Murray rebound with staggering contract
It’s easy to look at the finer points of Matt Murray’s resume and get excited. He’s a two-time Stanley Cup champion, and put up strong regular season numbers early in his career.
Clearly, the Senators are sold on Murray, 26, rebounding to that old form. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Senators signed Murray to a four year, $25M extension ($6.25M AAV). TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that the Senators gave Murray a 10-team no-trade clause to go with that splashy contract.
Being that the Senators already traded a second-rounder and a prospect to the Penguins for Murray, GM Pierre Dorion is making a massive investment in that goalie.
Could it work out? Maybe, but things haven’t been going so hot for Matt Murray lately.
For a Senators team that’s known for being ... reluctant to spend money, this is a huge gamble. Then again, goalies are unpredictable, so maybe Murray will make Ottawa look smart?