Stars’ News & Rumors: Goaltending Chaos & Studenic

In this edition of Dallas Stars News & Rumors, an update on the goaltenders and Marian Studenic is inching closer to his Dallas debut. 

Stars’ Goaltending Shenanigans 

If you were to approach me in Sep. 2021 and tell me that the Dallas Stars would have a lack of goaltending depth in March 2022, I would have laughed in your face. At that time, Ben Bishop was hopeful to return, Anton Khudobin was fully healthy and looking to rebound off of a tough year, Braden Holtby was new to the team and confident he could re-find his game after two poor seasons, and Jake Oettinger was beginning the season in the American Hockey League to develop further.

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Now, Bishop has retired from playing, Khudobin was waived and dropped into the AHL where he has not played much, Holtby has been battling unknown injuries, and Oettinger has become the number one goalie. 

Related: Stars Oettinger Has Earned Full Trust of Coaching Staff

Unfortunately, the situation with Holtby continues to be very blurry. The veteran has only played two games since Jan. 28, as Oettinger has taken over the top spot. However, the situation reached a new point when Holtby was deemed unable to serve as the backup on Saturday night against the New York Rangers, pushing Adam Scheel up from the AHL and into that role. Scheel will once again back up against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday [March 15] and we have not received any further updates or news on Holtby’s injuries or status. 

Now, when Scheel was called up, many fans and media wondered what was wrong with Khudobin? The veteran had not played much in the AHL and seemed to have disappeared as of late. Stars general manager Jim Nill cleared all of that up on Tuesday morning. 

“Anton Khudobin underwent a right hip arthroscopy and labral repair, performed by Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY, on March 14,” said Nill. “The rehabilitation and recovery time is approximately six months from the date of the surgery.”

Anton Khudobin-Stars' News & Rumors: Goaltending Chaos & Studenic
Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

With the news, the future of Khudobin is certainly in question. Major hip surgery is tough to bounce back from for any player (just ask Tyler Seguin or Jamie Benn). But at 35 years old, things become even tougher. The hope right now is simply for a successful and quick recovery for Khudobin, who is a fan favorite and a great character around the organization. 

With all of this chaos surrounding the Stars crease, the future has become unclear. Is Oettinger going to be forced to play every game during the playoff push? Is Holtby going to be ready soon or at all? Will Dallas somehow look to add another goalie at the trade deadline? The position that was once their biggest strength has now become their biggest question mark. 

Studenic Nearing Stars’ Debut 

Marian Studenic was claimed off of waivers on Feb. 24 from the New Jersey Devils. After a few practices with Dallas, he was loaned to the Texas Stars in the AHL on a conditioning assignment. In four games, he tore up the league, tallying six points (2 goals, 4 assists), including an overtime winner, helping Texas to a 3-1-0 record. His first goal with the team was also a beauty. 

During practice on Monday [March 14], Studenic was skating on the fourth line with Luke Glendening and Joel Kiviranta. After a successful run in the AHL showing off his speed and offensive upside, it is likely that he will make his Stars debut soon, possibly on Tuesday. 

“It’s going to be definitely a new chapter in my life,” Studenic said. “I’ve been four years in Jersey. This is new for me. It’s going to be a new opportunity, fresh start. I’m excited about it. … Speed is my biggest advantage. I like to compete, not afraid to get into the net when I go on the wings trying to get into the net.”

The Stars open up a four-game road trip on Tuesday [March 15] against the Maple Leafs. It is their first time in Toronto since Jason Robertson made his NHL debut on Feb. 13, 2020. He will return for his second visit and this time, he will face his brother. 

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