Nothing is official, but it appears as if Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask will have a new backup next season.
Anton Khudobin was excellent as Rask’s backup last season, but is expected to become an unrestricted free agent Sunday. And Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, for one, isn’t expecting Boston to re-sign the 32-year-old Kazakhstani netminder.
So, where might the Bruins turn to replace Khudobin?
“Now in need of someone to spell Tuukka Rask for those 25-30 games, the Bruins could turn to experienced hands such as Jaroslav Halak (Islanders), Robin Lehner (Buffalo), or Kari Lehtonen (Dallas),” The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont wrote Friday.
“Lehtonen, the Finnish former No. 2 overall pick (Atlanta, 2002), seems the most reasonable fit of those, albeit at a steep discount from his expiring $5 million tag.”
While finding a serviceable backup goalie isn’t as difficult as, say, landing one of the best players in the NHL, Boston will be hard-pressed to find one as effective as Khudboin was in 2017-18.
In 31 games (29 starts) last season, Khudobin went 16-6-7 with a .913 save percentage and 2.56 goals against average.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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