Braden Holtby returned to DC and started skating suicides a few weeks ago. Wednesday, he spoke to reporters for the first time about the upcoming season–the last on his current five-year contract.
“This is all I know here,” Holtby said, as reported by JJ Regan for NBCSW. “I’d love [to re-sign]. I think that’s pretty clear. But you don’t worry about that stuff. I’m lucky enough to be here for at least right now so happy for that.”
General manager Brian MacLellan didn’t rule out re-signing both Holtby and Nicklas Backstrom before the start of the 2019-20 season.
“I’ve checked in with both,” MacLellan said. “It might happen the beginning of September, depending on the timing of me getting back. But it will happen right away (after I return).”
Tarik El-Bashir wrote for The Athletic that Holtby expects his agent Dave Kaye to begin talks with MacLellan soon. “Obviously, we’ve met, Dave and I, throughout the summer to go over our thoughts,” Holtby said. “Mac and everyone has always been extremely great to us in terms of communication. (Kaye) has a job to do. I have a job to do…We’ll just work together and try and come up with what’s best for our team.”
Two major goaltenders’ contracts have been inked already which could provide a sense of Holtby’s expected salary. Sergei Bobrovsky’s 5-year, $30.5 million contract with the Florida Panthers and Andrei Vasilevskiy’s 8-year, $76 million extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Holtby’s current AAV is $6.1 million. He can expect to up that to around $10 million given comparable contracts around the league. Meanwhile, the Capitals have their potential goaltender of the future, Ilya Samsonov, in Hershey.
While Holtby says they “try and keep tabs with what’s going on around the league” with deals like Bobrovsky’s, his top priority is “to not let it be a distraction and go out and win games.”
The beginning of September and the start of the regular season are close upon us, and it awaits to be seen what moves MacLellan will make.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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