This season’s Carousel Goalkeeper of the Stars is a story to tell

On the surface, the 2021-22 Dallas Stars goaltender “placement” looks like a bit of a mess.

The organization started with three veteran goalies and a youngster in the minors, then had to set a deadline to acquire the veteran Scott Wedgwood Just to kick things off a potential playoff run. You can see how it looks from the outside.

But if you dig a little deeper, there is some logic involved in this winding path, and there is some hope that maybe it can all work out in the end.

Stars began the year with Ben Bishop and Anton Khaddubin under contract. Bishop missed most of last season with a knee injury and Khudobin struggled with various ailments while trying to pick up the slack. While Jake Oettinger It looked so good sometimes the team felt they might not have the experience to make a run in the playoffs, so they added on Braden Holtby in a one-year deal for $2 million. While Holtby struggled last season in Vancouver and was bought by the Canucks, it looked like a good insurance policy. Yes, he’s struggled with injuries, but he’s only 32 and won a Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018.

So, you had a little bit of a long hit in Bishop, who you had to give him a chance because of his contract, and Khudobin who seemed to be healthy and the Holtby rebuild. Sure enough, they figured out that at least one of the three would be healthy and do well.

Bishop got a chance to come back. The 35-year-old had given the Stars three solid seasons of 2.33 goals-against average and a . 923 save percentage, and had a long-standing friendship with head coach Rick Bowness. The two, who had a great run in Tampa Bay, trusted each other and wanted to win for each other. In a perfect world, they both wanted Bishop to lead the team to the playoffs this season.

But as the year progressed and Bishop attempted to come back from knee surgery, it became clear that wasn’t going to happen. And after Bishop had a rough outing in the AHL tryout, he decided to hang up his skates.

No harm in trying there, and Oettinger might just step into the breach to take charge, anyway. Oettinger was given the opportunity to test himself in the NHL when Holtby experienced some injury issues and Khudobin posted a 3-4-1 record with a 3.63 GAA and 879 save percentage.

When Holtby was finally well, Khudobin headed for the palace. There, he picked up some injury issues and ended his season with hip surgery. Meanwhile, Holtby tried to play through some issues and was derailed by a lower body injury.

Could the stars have predicted all of this? Well, they kind of did. That’s why they had three veterans. But they really felt that at least one of them would be healthy until the playoffs, and they felt any of those three would be a good option for the postseason with their playoff experience.

As it is, the Oettinger is the obvious best choice right now.

The 23-year-old has endured a host of games and proved he deserves more than that. Does that mean he’d be ready if the team made the postseason? Well, we won’t know until we get there.

But the best way to make sure he’s ready is to let the coaching staff and Oettinger work through the last 20 games in a better way to collect points and make sure he’s fresh and ready to go. Wedgwood’s addition helps a lot with that.

General Manager Jim Neal said Monday’s view was realistic in that he had to find a goaltender. However, after pushing you into that spot – and with limited cover space – you’d have to say he scrambled well. Not only does Wedgwood have a . 911 save percentage with a porous Arizona team this season, but he’s also a laid-back personality who has childhood friends with him. Tyler Seguin And he has contacts with many other star players.

Holtby has been placed on injured reserve for a long time, and he could still come back, but if he doesn’t, Wedgwood is the real deal. He understands his role, has been in a playoff run for the first time in his NHL career, and seems to be a pretty good fit.

“It will be exciting to be a part of,” said Wedgwood. “I know some of the guys here. They play hard, they have a lot of skill, a lot of veterans here. It’s been tough playing against them every time I play them. I just want to do what I can to help them make the playoffs.”

This is kind of a plan for everyone, and as much as it’s a plan that has to be changed a few times, it looks like it could really work in the end.

This story has not been approved by the National Hockey League or the Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heca He is a senior writer at DallasStars.com and has covered the stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @tweet.

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