Anton Khudobin

‘Canes sign ex-Bruins backup Khudobin: one year, $800k


The Carolina Hurricanes have inked an intriguing No. 2 goalie behind Cam Ward — former Boston netminder Anton Khudobin.

“Anton proved to be a very capable NHL backup for the Bruins last year,” Carolina GM Jim Rutherford said in a statement. “This solidifies an elite goaltending tandem for the Hurricanes.”

The deal will pay the Russian netminder $800,000 next season, down slightly from the $875,000 he made in 2013.

Khudobin, 27, posetd a 2.32 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 14 games last season, proving to be one of the NHL’s best backup netminders (statistically speaking), giving Boston a stellar one-two punch in goal with Tuukka Rask.

The deal is important given how last year went for the ‘Canes.

When Ward was lost for the season with a knee injury, Carolina opted not to acquire a secondary option, instead relying on Dan Ellis and Justin Peters to carry the load.

Both struggled and were unable to provide a consistent level of play — as such, the ‘Canes went from atop the Southeast Division to finish 13th in the Eastern Conference.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.