The writing is on the wall. Braden Holtby very likely played his last Washington Capitals game. This means goaltending could be a need this offseason as they figure out who will backup Ilya Samsonov. Though with the salary cap flat, it could be enough to keep Holtby in Washington for one more year.
“It’s still to be decided. I think it’s going to be difficult but sometimes opportunities come up that you don’t expect and I think we’d like to play it out and see what happens,” said Caps General Manager Brian MacLellan.
Samsonov was selected in the 2015 NHL Draft and had a good rookie season. He is the goaltender of the future. If the Caps indeed move on from Holtby, they have two options: veteran free agent goalie or call up within the pipeline. If they choose B they can bring up Pheonix Copley, who has NHL experience or Vitek Vanecek.
If the Caps go the route of the veteran netminder there are several free agents available such as Robin Lehner from the Vegas Golden Knights among others.
Defense and goaltending are two needs for the Caps this offseason. Now there’s one more need to address and it can’t be more obvious.