Khudobin signs with Hurricanes to one-year deal

Khudobin signs with Hurricanes to one-year deal
July 5, 2013, 5:00 pm
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BOSTON – On a day when both Andrew Ference and Nathan Horton officially exited the Boston scene by signing free agent deals, goaltender Anton Khudobin did the same by inking a one-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes for $800,000. Perhaps the 27-year-old was simply looking for a change-of-scenery in choosing the Canes for a sum that would have appeared to be in Boston’s price range for a backup goaltender, or perhaps the Russian netminder saw Carolina as a better spot to potentially establish himself as an NHL starting goaltender.

Khudobin would have had a difficult time doing that playing behind Tuukka Rask after putting together a 9-4-1 record with a 2.32 goals against average and a .920 save percentage during his first full NHL season in Boston. So instead Khudobin will head to the Hurricanes where he’ll be the backup for Cam Ward coming off an injury-plagued season.

The Bruins should be on the lookout for an affordable veteran backup netminder on the free agent market, but it will be interesting to see if they’re willing to hand the backup role to Swedish netminder Niklas Svedberg. The 23-year-old had a dominant rookie season at the AHL level after signing out of the Swedish League, and was with the Bruins as a Black Ace netminder during their run to the Stanley Cup Final. He finished with a 38-7-2 record to go along with a 2.19 goals against average and .925 save percentage, and stands ready if the Bruins tap him for backup duty behind Rask next season.

“It was a good year for sure. I didn’t know what to expect really. At the same time, I played a lot of years in the Swedish pro league, so I knew I could play at a good pro level,” said Svedberg. “I think the leagues are pretty similar -- the Swedish league and the AHL, So, it was a fun year for sure.

“I think [the playoff experience with Boston] is good for next year, just to see how everything works up here and get to know the guys, and everything. It’ll be good for next year.”

There were some within the Bruins organization that feel Svedberg could use another year of seasoning at the AHL level, but there might not be a choice given Boston’s limited cap space with several spots still left to fill on the roster.