Philipp Grubauer’s name has been bandied about the rumor mill all year long and it appears that’s not stopping anytime soon.
For most of the 2016-17 season, Grubauer was a favorite by many analysts to be selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Instead in June, GM George McPhee picked defenseman Nate Schmidt, leaving the Caps with a major hole to fill in their top four.
To potentially solve that problem, the Caps may be using Holtby’s talented backup as trade bait, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Thursday, Friedman wrote about where he believes many of the available free agent goaltenders will land and mentioned Grubauer.
Early predictions are: Chad Johnson to Buffalo, Brian Elliott to Philadelphia, Steve Mason to Winnipeg, Ryan Miller to Anaheim, Antti Niemi to Pittsburgh, Anders Nilsson to Vancouver.
Washington’s set a high price on Philipp Grubauer.
Luke Fox, also from Sportsnet, wrote that Grubuaer could be an option for the Canucks if UFA Ryan Miller leaves Vancouver for another team.
Another (option) is Washington’s Philipp Grubauer, an unsigned RFA backup in search of more starts — starts he won’t get behind Braden Holtby.
The Capitals re-signed third-string goalie Pheonix Copley Thursday to a two-year deal, opening up the option for a Grubauer trade.
Though he had a backup role, Grubauer fared better this season than nearly every goaltender in the league – starter or not. He got burned a bit on special teams, but the 1,661 shots he’s faced so far suggest he could be a bona fide number-one goalie for any team in this league.
The Capitals are smart to ask a lot for him.
Elyse Bailey and Peter Hassett also contributed to this article.
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