Anaheim Ducks Trade For Anton Khudobin
The Anaheim Ducks announced they have acquired goalie Anton Khudobin from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenceman James Wisniewski.
This trade clears the way in Carolina for goaltending duo of Eddie Lack, who was acquired earlier in the day, and Cam Ward. For the Ducks, it’s mainly a salary dump, but it also adds some intrigue with three NHL-ready goaltenders now on the roster: Khudobin, Frederik Andersen, and John Gibson.
Khudobin has moved around quite a bit in his six years in the league, playing for the Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins, and the Carolina Hurricanes. With only 91 NHL games to his credit, it is hard to project how he will perform in the future, but he has a solid .919 over those games, built mostly on good performances behind the defensively-sound Wild and Bruins. He is signed for one more season at $2.25 million.
For a time, it was believed that the Ducks would look for a way to deal John Gibson, but the team quickly put an end to that speculation.
Ducks GM Bob Murray emphatically shut down any talk of a John Gibson trade. “John Gibson is not getting traded, so put that out there.”
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 27, 2015
Bruce Boudreau: “I think we have three NHL goalies.”
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 27, 2015
Gibson will be on a two-way contract for one more year and could continue in the AHL if necessary.
InGoal Magazine take on the trade:
“It will be interesting to see how the Ducks handle this new three-goalie situation. As good as Gibson is right now, he needs to play, something we wondered about last season when Anaheim seemed intent on rushing him into the NHL. If he’s not going to play enough with the Ducks, they would be better served to keep him in the AHL while he can still be sent back and forth without risk of losing him on waivers. You don’t have to look further than Darcy Kuemper in Minnesota or even back to Steve Mason in Columbus to find the perils of playing a promising young prospect too much too soon and putting him in a situation where he has to clear waivers at an earlier age that necessary. In both cases the risk of waivers and obvious potential of the goalie was too much to risk sending him down, even after struggles in the NHL clearly hurt the development process.
As for Anton Khudobin, he is a really interesting case study in goaltending styles. He succeeded in Boston behind a Bruins D that was still stingy at the time while playing more of a skating, purely reactionary game that was sometimes all over the place. In the minds of a lot of NHL goalie coaches, Khudobin’s game screamed out for more structure, especially if he wasn’t going to be playing regularly and able to find the timing and rhythm that style typically relies more on. But while Cam Ward benefitted from that added structure under a new coach in David Marcoux last season in Carolina, Khudobin’s numbers slipped significantly from a .926 save percentage to a .900 last season despite a similar workload to the previous season. The Ducks aren’t the old Bruins defensively, so it will be interesting to see whether the reigns are taken off Khudobin a bit and if that is a fit if he’s seeing more good looks in Anaheim.”
~ Kevin Woodley, InGoal Magazine Managing Editor