By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
For a while, it appeared that the Boston Bruins and Anton Khudobin had mutual interest in a return. Now, there's a greater chance that they'll need to look elsewhere for a backup goaltender.
Khudobin and the Bruins both "agreed to take advantage of the current open interview period to see what’s available" ahead of the July 1 start of free agency, according to Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald. Conroy noted that this could mean that they'll reconvene on July 1 and Khudobin could still re-sign, but it could end up being more expensive than expected.
Conroy reports that the two sides have had trouble finding "common ground" on a deal. Khudobin recently expressed a strong desire to stay in Boston, but it appears that he won't do so at a big discount. Either way, he's due a bump from his $1.2 million salary in 2017-18; he could earn between $2-3 million as a free agent, and that could be the going rate for a backup goalie in general.
If the B's have to find someone else to back up Tuukka Rask, other names expected to be available starting July 1 are Jonathan Bernier, Robin Lehner, Cam Ward, Eddie Lack, Ondrej Pavelec, and Andrew Hammond.
The Bruins have also reportedly shown interest in Carter Hutton, who just posted career-best numbers with the St. Louis Blues. So he may end up out of their price range. But it's a sign that they may ultimately be willing to extend themselves a bit in order to retain Khudobin.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].
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