If it wasn’t official before, it is now. The Washington Capitals have their goaltending duo for the 2022-23 season.
The team will go with Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren as its number one and number two after placing Zach Fucale on NHL waivers, Sunday.
The news was reported by Chris Johnston.
Among a large group of players placed on NHL waivers today: Malcolm Subban (BUF), William Lagesson (CAR), Oscar Dansk (CGY), Greg McKegg (EDM), Dillon Heatherington (OTT), Drake Caggiula (PIT), Alex Nylander (PIT), Dustin Tokarski (PIT), Kole Lind (SEA), Zach Fucale (WSH).
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 2, 2022
Fucale was one of eight cuts the Capitals made to their Training Camp roster on Sunday. Hershey begins its Training Camp on Monday.
Fucale has been one of the organization’s biggest surprises over the last few season. It was believed he could challenge for the NHL backup role before the Capitals signed Lindgren to a three-year deal.
Fucale set the NHL record for the longest shutout streak to start an NHL career last season after posting a clean sheet in his NHL debut and continuing that streak through two other games. In March, at the AHL level, he became the first goalie in the Hershey Bears’ 84-year history to record three straight shutout victories.
During the preseason, Fucale’s play was not as strong as Lindgren’s. He gave up three goals on 28 shots, posting a .880 save percentage in two games. Meanwhile, Charlie was sensational in three appearances, notching a .953 save percentage and making 43 saves on 45 shots.
If Fucale passes through waivers, the Capitals will assign him to Hershey where he will be the team’s number one goaltender this season and likely the first callup if there’s an injury at the NHL level in goal. The result of Zach’s waiver wire situation is important when considering just how young the Caps are on the depth chart behind him.
Second-year goaltender Hunter Shepard will likely be Fucale’s backup. He passed through waivers over the weekend and was officially assigned to the Bears on Sunday. Rookie Clay Stevenson, who could have challenged for that AHL backup spot, is out for four to six weeks after having hand surgery and may start the year in South Carolina.
Fucale is in the final year of a two-year deal where he makes $750k per season.
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