With question marks regarding another veteran goaltender, the Dallas Stars have signed former Vezina winner Braden Holtby.
The Dallas Stars have added a former Stanley Cup-winning and Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender. According to Darren Dreger of TSN, Dallas has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Braden Holtby. Eric Engels of Sportsnet reported the deal is worth $2 million.
Holtby spent last season with the Vancouver Canucks, with a 3.67 goals-against average and an .889 save percentage over 21 games as Thatcher Demko’s backup. The Canucks exposed him to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft, and when they’d didn’t lose (or unload) him that way they waived him to pave the way to buyout the second year of his two-year deal.
At his peak with the Washington Capitals, Holtby had a run of three straight seasons with more than 40 regular season wins. He won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender in 2016, and he led the league with nine shutouts during the 2016-17 campaign. And he of course was a key cog in the Capitals’ run to the Stanley Cup in 2018.
But that peak is long gone. Over the last two seasons (69 games), Holtby has a 3.28 GAA and an .895 save percentage.
With Braden Holtby in, what does that mean for Ben Bishop?
Anton Khudobin and Jake Oettinger are Dallas’ top two goaltender looking toward next season. Veteran Ben Bishop waived his no-move clause so the Stars could leave him unprotected for the expansion draft. He underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus last October, and didn’t return to action the rest of the season.
The condition of Bishop’s knee appears to still be a concern and a question mark for the Stars, to the point long-term IR might be an option. Holtby is more name than game at this point in his career, but Dallas has found an option to fill out their depth chart should Bishop continue to be unavailable into next season.