Washington Capitals refused to give a goalkeeper without an agent Ilya Samsonov Monday’s eligible bid, making him an unrestricted free agent who can sign anywhere in the NHL.
It was a shock move from the Capitals, with General Manager Brian McClellan saying last week that Samsonov would be eligible.
The decision means the capitals are currently without the main goalkeepers from last season. Samsonov, 25, played 44 games, winning 23-12-5 by 896. Vitik Vanishek Played 42 games, 20-12-6 with 908 savings percentage. The Capitals traded Vanecek with the New Jersey Devils last Friday for a draft pick.
“We were trying to shift our target a little bit,” McClellan said Friday after the deal with New Jersey. “This is the first step to doing that. We still have some work to do and other decisions to make.”
When asked if he was looking for a goalkeeper to start ahead of Samsonov or be paired with him, McClellan – whose team lost in the first round last season to the Florida Panthers – just said, “We are open to all avenues.”
The decision not to qualify Samsonov was due to the fact that he had arbitration rights and could return with a salary north of $3 million for the next season. Given his performances last season, the Capitals didn’t feel like he was worth that amount.
Samsonov can still re-sign with Washington when the free agency signing period begins Wednesday. But with both goalkeepers out of their salary cap, speculation will only grow for the Colorado Avalanche goalkeeper. Darcy ComberAfter winning the Stanley Cup, he may be heading to the capitals later this week.
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