The Washington Capitals’ likely starter going into next season, Ilya Samsonov, was spotted back on the ice for the first time in months on Tuesday.
Samsonov reportedly injured his neck and back in an ATV accident back in Russia during the spring. The goaltender did not pass a physical before Phase 3 Training Camp and did not join the team in the bubble for the 2020 playoffs.
The Russian goaltender had a 16-6-2 record, 2.55 goals-against average, and .913 save percentage during his rookie season in the NHL.
Voluntary skates are back underway in Arlington. #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/ueGtDrf9zl
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 3, 2020
Carl Hagelin, Garnet Hathaway, and, I believe, Daniel Carr were the other players who took the ice. The NHL gave permission for teams to open up their facilities as soon as October 15. According to ESPN, organizations needed notice from at least five players to reopen and a maximum of 12 players can be on the ice at the same time.
As for Samsonov, general manager Brian MacLellan said in late August that the team’s training staff would give the young goaltender six weeks of physical therapy and evaluate his progress after the eight-week mark. That puts Samsonov’s rehab right on schedule.
“His progression has been good,” MacLellan said on October 9. “Close to 100 percent so we feel good about that. It has been trending in the right way for a long time. We’re optimistic that he’ll be ready to start the season.”
During free agency, the Capitals sign future Hockey Hall of Famer, Henrik Lundqvist, to a one-year, $1.5 million deal to mentor and push the young Russian for starts next season.
Screenshot courtesy of @Capitals
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