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Can Braden Holtby Help the Stars Next Season?



Can Braden Holtby help the stars next season?

Former goalkeeper Braden Holtby # 49 of the Vancouver Canucks. Codie McLachlan / Getty Images / AFP (Photo by Codie McLachlan / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The Dallas Stars have signed 31-year-old Canadian goalkeeper Braden Holtby on a one-year deal worth € 2 million. Does that fit for both sides? And will this be Holtby’s last attempt at becoming a top goalkeeper again? Or better yet, he’ll even get a lot of Ice Age. The NHL odds for his new team to win the Stanley Cup is currently +3500 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline test).

Holtby’s recent story

Braden Holtby saw his SV% drop from 925th in 2017 to 889th at the end of last season. He made 21 appearances for the Vancouver Canucks last season, winning 7 and losing 11. We know that Holtby has had great achievements over a long period of time, he has some tremendous accolades in the NHL, from the 2018 Stanley Cup winner to the 2016 Venezia winner, the 2017 Jennings trophy winner and a 4-time All-Star. Holtby also ranks 9th overall for most career shutouts in the NHL.

Will this be the right fit for Holtby?

A confusing fit

It is somewhat of a mystery at the time of writing why the Dallas Stars signed Holtby in Free Agency, they already have three pretty solid goalkeepers. Let’s start with Ben Bishop, there has been virtually no news from his camp and the theory is that he is most likely to retire. It looks like the stars could leave with the Khudobin / Holtby duo, who share goalkeeping duties 50/50 and send Oettinger back to the AHL to play with the Texas Rangers.

Overall, it doesn’t look bad, should Holtby come off below average, they could easily give him up and bring Oettinger back. Another strong theory is that they could try swapping Khudobin and going with a Holtby / Oettinger duo.

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Holtby’s last stand

The above heading would be the title to describe a movie or book about the season that Holtby is about to release because if we look at his numbers over the past couple of seasons we can see that he’s a goalkeeper that is in decline and shows no signs of improvement. It all started towards the end of the 2017/18 season, his performances in the playoffs were so bad that the Capitals decided to place Philipp Grubauer as the number 1 goalkeeper at the start of the next season. Obviously, Holtby was back number 1 in the first few games of the season and they only won their very first Stanley Cup.

Holtby excelled in the playoffs at that Stanley Cup run, but the next season he fell below 90 SV% and lost in the first round of the playoffs. It was then shipped to the Canucks last season where it posted some bad numbers.

The big question is what can Holtby bring to this Stars team and how far they can realistically go. Well we believe Holtby can be a solid substitute goalkeeper but definitely not their number 1. Both Dallas goalkeepers outdid Holtby last season and Oettinger outdid both Khudobin and Holtby but will most likely be the third choice in the rotation which seems harsh in our eyes unless Dallas plans to deal with Khudobin.

How can Holtby help?

Look, it’s that simple, Holtby is past its prime and will never go back or even get close to it. So what can he do for the stars this season? We believe his greatest quality here could be his experience and this is most likely one of the reasons he was inducted into the Stars to secure the young team and be a potential leader. He can take a couple of wins here and there on the ice and to be honest he has played 30 games and finished 15/15. We would call it an all-round good season.

At this stage and stage of his career, all he needs to do is make sure his team wins when he’s on the ice, no matter what. My advice to Holtby this season would be something like, “When teams are out most nights you can worry about stats, but if you’re a nearly exhausted 31-year-old they should be at the bottom of your list of worries about it, get out there and get the W for your team.

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