DALLAS — Former Washington Capitals backup goalie Philipp Grubauer wanted to be a starter. He got his wish Friday night when the Capitals dealt him and Brooks Orpik to the Colorado Avalanche for a second-round pick (47th overall) in the 2018 NHL draft here.
Grubauer has proven himself capable of handling a starting role over the past couple of years with the Caps. For much of the spring, he was the number one netminder over former Vezina Trophy-winner Braden Holtby.
“We really feel you need two really good goaltenders, and we like where Grubauer is, he’s just coming into his prime,” Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said. Grubauer will play alongside former Capitals starting goalie Semyon Varlamov, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career.
Switching back to the Caps, unless they make a trade, their backup spot will be filled by less experienced hands in 2018-19. According to Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan, Pheonix Copley, a North Pole, Alaska native who has played just two NHL games will start the season as Holtby’s understudy.