Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan has made it clear on two separate occasions, once on Breakdown Day and again at his pre-draft press conference that the Caps are looking for a veteran netminder this offseason.
Thursday night, ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reported that current Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen is accruing interest around the league from a handful of clubs. He explicitly listed the Capitals as one of those interested parties.
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) July 8, 2022
Since joining the Habs before the 2020-21 season, Allen has recorded a 20-32-9 record with a 3.01 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage. He arrived in Montreal via trade from the St. Louis Blues where he had spent the first seven years of his NHL career. His 353 games of experience in the league is more than double the amount current Caps goalies Vitek Vanecek (81) and Ilya Samsonov (94) share combined.
For the 2022-23 season, Allen will be in the last year of a two-year extension he signed with the Canadiens back in October of 2020. His cap hit will be $2.875 million before becoming an unrestricted free agent next offseason. Allen’s contract is important to note given that both Vanecek and Samsonov still remain without solidified deals as restricted free agents.
“Same situation. We’re talking. They’re both RFAs,” MacLellan said simply on Wednesday. “We’ll go through the RFA process. We’ll explore all opportunities as we would with any other position on the team and make decisions as we go here.”
No matter what ends up happening there, the Capitals seem committed to not turning to that tandem for a third consecutive season. When asked Wednesday if the plan was to still look to acquire a veteran in net, MacLellan answered bluntly in the affirmative and Allen could turn out to be that veteran.
“Like I said, we’ll explore trade opportunities there, we’ll look at the free-agent market, and then we’ll analyze the RFA contracts coming for both of them and make a decision based on all of that stuff.”
One of the other goaltending options out there this summer will be unrestricted free agent Darcy Kuemper. The Avalanche have fully moved on from their cup-winning goalie after they dealt for New York’s Alexandar Georgiev on Thursday. Kuemper is free to sign with any team when NHL free agency begins on July 13. ESPN’s coverage of the draft festivities mentioned that he could be seeking a six-year deal worth around $6 million per season.
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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