Stars goalie Khudobin misses start of camp after visa issues
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin missed the start of training camp Monday while still going through NHL-mandated quarantine after some immigration issues.
General manager Jim Nill said Khudobin is back in Texas, but the Russian goalie was delayed because of a backlog for people trying to get U.S. visas. Khudobin wasn’t on the ice when the Western Conference champion Stars practiced for the first time Monday, only 10 days before their season opener at Florida.
Nill described Khudobin’s return as a “moving target” since he has to go through other tests during quarantine.
“And then once he comes out, he still has to go through the medicals and physicals,” Nill said. “If everything goes correct, if he tests negative and his medicals and physicals go well, he will be back during training camp.”
Khudobin signed a $10 million, three-year contract to stay with the Stars, his fifth NHL team, instead of going elsewhere in free agency. After never starting a playoff game before in 11 NHL seasons, he went 14-10 with a 2.69 goals-against average and .917 save percentage as the Stars reached the Stanley Cup Final, won by Tampa Bay in six games.
Veteran forward Joe Pavelski also missed the first day of practice. Pavelski had 13 goals in the playoffs, more in a single postseason than any other player 36 or older and only one fewer than his 14 during the regular season. His 61 career playoff goals are now the most for an American-born skater.
Nill said Pavelski’s absence isn’t expected to be long-term, and that the team was waiting for the results of a couple of more tests. Asked if it was COVID-related, Nill said he wasn’t able to comment on that in any way.
“We expect him back here in the next couple of days, that’s all I can say,” Nill said.
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