Canes, Khudobin agree on 2-year deal
Posted March 4
The Carolina Hurricanes agreed to terms with goaltender Anton Khudobinon on a two-year contract Tuesday. The deal will pay Khudobin $2 million for the 2014-15 season and $2.5 million in 2015-16.
“We are pleased to be able to keep Anton with the Hurricanes,” Carolina Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford said. “He has played well this season and signing him helps solidify our team’s goaltending situation.”
Khudobin, 27, is 13-8-0 with a 2.17 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in 22 games with the Hurricanes this season. He was named the NHL’s First Star for the month of January after matching a Hurricanes franchise record for wins in a month with 10, registering a goals-against average of 2.19 and save percentage of .927 in 14 games.
“It’s a fair deal for both sides, it’s excellent money if he continues to track the way he’s played in the brief period of time this season," said Hurricanes play-by-play caller John Forslund. "There’s obvious commitment there, it’s a clear picture for at least one of the goaltenders for next season and I would think both. I still believe it’s going to be hard to move Cam Ward’s contract, even if there is a willing party on the other side that believes that he can re-establish himself."
The Hurricanes acquired Khudobin as a free agent on July 5, 2013, signing him to an $800,000, one-year deal to back up goalie Cam Ward. Ward is set to make $6.3 million over the next two seasons before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2016.
"This could still work out as Ward and Khudobin which would be good because Khudobin has given the team tremendous back-up support in that position and now he can push and try to become a full-fledged number one goaltender at this level," said Forslund.
A native of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, Khudobin was drafted by Minnesota in the seventh round of the 2004 Draft, and has a career NHL record of 27-13-1 with a 2.11 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in 43 games with Minnesota, Boston and Carolina. He has represented Russia at several international competitions, earning a goal medal at the 2004 U18 World Championship and silver medals at the 2005 and 2006 World Junior Championships (U20).
The Hurricanes take on the San Jose Sharks tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET (FOX Sports Carolinas, 99.9FM The Fan ESPN Radio). Carolina returns home on Wednesday and will host the New York Rangers on Friday at 7 p.m.