Capitals’ starting goaltender Braden Holtby told the media at Friday’s breakdown day that he is hopeful that the Capitals will reach out this him this summer to begin talks on a contract extension.
Next season will be the final year of Holtby’s contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
“I would love that,” Holtby said. “But that’s not something I’m going to try and dwell on. I’m pretty realistic about what goes on in the business and such.”
“My focus is going to be to put in everything I can this summer to make sure I’m ready to help this team win come next year,” Holtby said. “Everything outside of that, you let it sort itself out. It’s pretty clear I love it here and love this team and this city. That’s motivation to work hard and make sure I can do everything I can so we can stay here.”
The Capitals signed goaltender Pheonix Copley to a three year, $3.3 million extension in February, which takes Copley’s contract through the 2021-22 season.
Also in the Capitals goaltending talent pipeline is 22-year old Ilya Samsonov, the Capitals’ 2015 first-round pick, whose entry-level contract with the Capitals runs through the 2020-21 season. The Capitals called up Samsonov as a third goaltender during parts of the playoffs this season in order to expose the youngster to the NHL playoff environment.
Holtby said that he knows the Capitals management will not have an easy decision, given that Samsonov appears to be knocking on the door of NHL readiness next season.
“Managing a hockey team isn’t easy. I’m not one to put my input into it,” Holtby said. “Our group here trusts [General Manager Brian McLellan] and everyone involved to do what’s best for this team and this organization.”
Holtby had .914 save percentage over the seven games against Carolina and a 2.67 goals against average. He posted a shutout in Game Five, making him the Capitals franchise leader in playoff shutouts with seven over his career.
Holtby said that he believes the Capitals have the right pieces to win a Stanley Cup again.
“We have more than enough here to do it again.”
Headline photo: Capitals
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