Update Post: December 9, 2023 9:19 am
During the summer offseason, the candidacy of 37-year-old Anton Khudobin was on the radar of most clubs in the Continental Hockey League. After parting ways with Chicago, Khudobin, who had been playing overseas for nearly two decades, closed the North American page of his career and waited for specific offers from the KHL. During the offseason, the Russian was paired with Lada, Dynamo Minsk, Barys or Magnitogorsk, but never signed a contract. According to some reports, some clubs were frightened by the financial claims of the goalkeeper’s representatives, others were frightened by his considerable age and the accumulation of injuries accumulated during his career.
Desperate to wait for an offer from the top Russian league, Khudobin left for Krasnoyarsk and signed a one-year deal with local side Sokol. “That’s the plan to play at home, it’s not that I left the KHL. If a good offer came I would consider it. I have relatives and relatives in Krasnoyarsk. Mom, dad, friends, everyone is here. I don’t plan to relax and have fun, as someone thought, it is important to be completely focused on hockey. I go to hockey instead of some entertainment.
Why didn’t it work out with the KHL? To be honest, I don’t know what, how, why and why. There are Yuri Leonidovich Nikolaev and other agents of the Winners company, they worked and are working. The contract contains a clause according to which, in case of a serious offer from the KHL to Sokol, they will let me go, ”Khudobin said in a September interview with our publication, explaining the reasons for his decision.
“Here everything is closer and dearer to me. This is my homeland.” Khudobin – on returning from America
In the “tower” this season the 37-year-old goalkeeper did not play regularly. The experienced goalkeeper played four games in September, five in October and two more in November, making a total of 11 appearances to date. In comparison, Sokol’s nominal number one, Rafael Khakimov, played 17 games. On the other hand, Khudobin later joined the team, so we can say that Anton and Rafael divided their time almost equally.
At the same time, the statistical indicators as a whole were clearly on the side of Khudobin, who was better than Khakimov both in terms of the percentage of reflected shots (92.9% versus 91.2%) and in terms of the reliability coefficient (2 .29 versus 2.72). Antón also left the goal intact twice and in total achieved six victories in 11 games. At the same time, Khudobin’s last match in the VHL did not work out, although he was victorious: on November 17, he missed five goals from Rostov and his team won 7: 5.
This marked the end of Khudobin’s stay in Sokol. After staying in the VHL club for almost three months, the 2014 world champion as part of the Russian national team finally hoped to receive an offer from the KHL. Today Anton officially joined the Siberian squad, which made an exchange with the Krasnoyarsk club, exchanging the goalkeeper for monetary compensation.
“In Anton’s contract with Sokol there is a clause according to which the player will be released from the KHL club if he receives such an offer,” a source familiar with the situation told the Championship. In fact, Khudobin himself spoke about the existence of this clause in the contract, commenting on his transition to the VHL.
Anton Khudobin will move from BVS Sokol to Sibir
Notably, the last time the 37-year-old goaltender played in the KHL was 11 years ago during the NHL lockout. Then the Russian goalkeeper, who had a contract with the Boston Bruins, arrived in Russia and signed an agreement with Atlant. Khudobin played some outstanding matches in the Moscow Region Club, but in general his performance in the KHL was far from the most impressive – seven wins in 26 matches.
Now, in the new decade, Anton returns to the KHL for what? Why did the Novosibirsk Club need an experienced goalkeeper? There are several such goals at once. Last season, now-former Siberia coach Andrei Martemyanov distributed playing time almost equally between Anton Krasotkin and Denis Kostin. In the regular season, the ratio was “60 to 40” in favor of Anton, but after the change of coach the situation changed dramatically.
Photo: Victoria Trufanova, foto.khl.ru
David Nemirovsky, who managed Sibir in the off-season, immediately made a categorical bet on Krasotkin, occasionally pitching Kostin in matches with the KHL giants. In almost three months since the start of the championship, Denis played only five games, while Anton had a disproportionately larger workload (28 games). The Russian goalkeeper for a long time held up well in many games.
It is no coincidence that already during the current championship “Sibir” signed a new contract with Krasotkin, valid until the end of the 2025/2026 season. This extension further demonstrates the high level of confidence in their goaltender. So Anton will almost certainly remain Sibir’s number one iron.
But it should be noted that Krasotkin’s last matches were not so successful. Anton obviously got hooked and began to noticeably fail, playing with much less confidence than at the beginning of the championship. In such a situation, waging a desperate fight to get to the playoffs and now on the verge of cup eight in the East, “Siberia” needed an experienced second number, and Kostina had obviously already given up. And at that moment Kirill Fastovsky remembered the existence of another Anton – Khudobin.
Photo: Yuri Kuzmin, foto.khl.ru
In addition to purely helping in the game, a goaltender who has played extensively overseas and reached the Stanley Cup Final can also provide a voice and authority in the locker room. “Siberia” is now experiencing an obvious shortage of Russian leaders. It is significant that at one time the captain of the team was even 22-year-old defenseman Egor Alanov, who is only spending his third season in the KHL full-time. Thus, “Siberia” solves two important problems at once with a single transfer move.
It will be very interesting to observe Khudobin in Siberia. If he can cope with the number of matches that Nemirovski’s coaching staff will assign him, then in the off-season interest in the goalkeeper may increase in the conditions when the level of goalkeepers in the KHL is clearly declining after the departure of a large number of ours. the best goalkeepers abroad and the loss of many high-quality foreign players.