The Dallas Stars will be without one of their biggest names for at least a few games.
According to Dallas GM Jim Nill, goaltender Jake Oettinger will be out for at least a week with a lower-body injury. He’ll be re-evaluated next week.
Oettinger left midway through Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers, with no clear incident apparent at the time.
Oettinger has a 5-1-0 record with a .952 save percentage through seven games, making him one of the best goaltenders out of the gate. The 23-year-old signed a three-year deal worth $4 million this summer after an impressive 2021-22 campaign that saw him net a 30-15-1 record in 48 games. Oettinger then upped his game in the playoffs, recording a shutout and a .954 save percentage as the Stars just missed out on a first-round series victory over the Calgary Flames.
Scott Wedgewood will assume the bulk of the starts in the meantime. Dallas plays three games this week, starting with a home meeting with the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday before battles with Arizona (Thursday) and Edmonton (Saturday).
Wedgewood, 30, was acquired from Arizona ahead of the NHL trade deadline last season and played well enough to earn an extension. The 2022-23 season hasn’t been overly kind to Wedgewood, who boasts an 0-2-1 record with a .880 save percentage through three games.
Nill said that due to cap constraints, 2022 Stanley Cup playoff star Anton Khudobin can’t be recalled from the Texas Stars. The team doesn’t have another NHL-contracted goaltender in the AHL, with Adam Scheel and Remi Poirier currently on NHL contracts in the ECHL.
According to PuckPedia, the Stars currently have $1,010,050 in available cap space while sitting at a full 50 contracts. Khudobin’s cap hit for 2022-23 is $2.208 million, so he couldn’t have been called up without moving a roster player. If Oettinger’s situation is short-term, there’s no reason to do that.