The Oilers came, they saw and ultimately left the party without a date. In this case, a date being a fresh face in net for the 2021-22 season.
But does Edmonton still have the ability to find someone new to pair alongside Mike Smith next season?
On the 31 Thoughts podcast, that’s just what Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman speculated:
Marek: As of right now, they’re going back with Koskinen and Smith.
Friedman: I gotta think that’s gonna change.
M: There were talks about the Buffalo Sabres…
M: … with Koskinen and then after the Kuemper deal to Colorado, all that conversation went away as if the goalie market sort of dried up. But I would not be surprised at all if come opening night, it’s Anton Khudobin, starting netminder, Edmonton Oilers.
F: Yeah I think that’s a fair one to guess. I agree with you, I think Dallas is going to move a goalie.
Khudobin would be an interesting option in net. A mentioned, he would have to be acquired in a trade with Dallas as Khudobin has two years left on a deal paying him an AAV of $3.33-million. With a modified no-trade clause, he’d have to approve a move to Edmonton at any point. Any deal would also need to include the Oilers moving on from Mikko Koskinen to make the money work.
At 35-years-old, Khudobin’s game hasn’t fallen off too much in Dallas. In the last three years, he’s posted a 44-36-16 record with a .920 save percentage saving 31.4 goal above average.
Here’s how his last two seasons compare to that of the Oilers goalies:
And in all situations:
His numbers are much better than that of either of the Oilers goalies and it’s safe to assume he would be an improvement. He had a bit of a down year this season posting a .905 save percentage and -2.4 GSAA and that’s with Dallas allowing the ninth least amount of goals against.
The Stars also have Ben Bishop and they also signed Braden Holtby this offseason. Right now the Stars are $4-million over the cap, per PuckPedia, so I can forsee a situation where they look to move on from Khudobin.