Mere hours after being bought out by the Vancouver Canucks, Braden Holtby has found a new home.
The 31-year-old is signing with the Dallas Stars for next season on a one-year deal worth $2 million, joining an increasingly crowded crease that features Ben Bishop, Anton Khudobin, and Jake Oettinger.
This is a puzzling move from a Stars team that has been among the busiest of the offseason.
Not only do the Stars have three NHL goaltenders already under contract through next season, with Bishop and Khudobin running through 2022-23, respectively, Holtby offers little if any of an upgrade on them all. This is not a starting goaltender anymore.
Holtby has been on a steep decline for the past few years now, failing to put up a save percentage above .911 since 2016-17, coming in below .900 the past two seasons and bottoming out as a Canuck in 2021 with a dreadful .889.
At $2 million, the Stars essentially overpaid to add yet another injury-prone, aging goaltender to the two they already have. Barring a trade, it's difficult to see Holtby pushing any of his three new counterparts for playing time, perhaps making him the fourth-best netminder on the team.
Experience is at a premium, it seems. And Holtby certainly brings that. He just doesn't bring much else.