The Washington Capitals may have likely made their final move of the offseason unless General Manager Brian MacLellan has something else up his sleeve. Other than signing minor leaguers, the Caps offseason has been mostly quiet with a couple of noises here and there.
The biggest noise came when they extended team captain Alex Ovechkin to a five year deal with an average annual value (AAV) of $9.5 million. The Caps biggest loss came with the departure of Brenden Dillon and his close to four million cap hit. The Caps were also able to acquire Vitek Vanecek back from the Seattle Kraken. Yesterday came their latest move. The Caps will once again run it back with two young goaltenders next season.
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The Caps extended Ilya Samsonov to a one year deal worth $2 million. It was a bridge deal, allowing the former first round draft pick a chance to prove himself to Capitals management after some disappointments off the ice.
You may recall at the beginning of the season when he tested positive for COVID but the issues extended all the way back to last year when he hurt himself during quarantine on an ATV accident, missing the bubble. Samsonov was also late to a team function late in the season and winded up back on the COVID list.
The only way the Caps could add to their team now is if they make a trade. I honestly don’t see it happening, not even with Evgeny Kuznetsov. If they were to trade Kuzy, I think he would’ve been dealt by now.
To the surprise of no one, all these moves put the Caps right up against the salary cap ceiling. Per CapFriendly.com, the Caps have just $668,740 left in cap space. The salary cap remains unchanged from the pandemic, remaining flat at $81.5 million.
Overall, I agree with the move of extending Samsonov. The young Russian deserves another chance and two years under his belt will help in his maturity off the ice. Whether you like him or are frustrated with him, everyone deserves a second chance and Samsonov just got his.