The Washington Capitals on Monday turned down the eligibility offer of banned free agent goalkeeper Ilya Samsonov, making the 25-year-old an unrestricted free agent who can sign anywhere in the NHL.
It was a surprise move from the Capitals, as general manager Brian McClellan said last week that Samsonov would qualify.
The decision means the Capitals don’t have both of their opening goalkeepers from last season. Samsonov played 44 games 23-12-5 with a .896 saving percentage. Vitek Vanecek played 42 games 20-12-6 with .908 saving percentage. The Capitals traded Vansek to the New Jersey Devils last Friday for a draft selection.
“We’re trying to make a little change in our goalkeeping,” McLellan said after signing with New Jersey on Friday. “It simply came to our notice then. We still have some work to do and we have to make the next decision. ”
Asked if he was looking for a goalkeeper to beat Samsonov or pair up with him, McClellan – whose team lost to the Florida Panthers in the first round last season – said, “We are all open.”
The decision to disqualify Samsonov was due to the fact that he had the right to arbitration and could return next season with a salary of दश 3 million. Based on his performance last season, the Capitals did not value him that much.
Samsonov will be able to re-sign with Washington when the agency’s free signing period begins on Wednesday. But with both goalkeepers living within their pay ranges, speculation is rife that Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche new goalkeeper Darcy Cooper could move into the Capitols this weekend.