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CAPS GM BRIAN MACLELLAN EXPECTS HOLTBY TO TEST FREE AGENCY

Coming off of the worst statistical performance in his career, it would appear as though Washington Capitals netminder and Stanley Cup champion Braden Holtby will hit the free agent market in October.

Capitals GM Brian MacLellan confirmed as much when he met with the media on a Zoom call on Tuesday.

“I’d expect him to go to free agency. The goalie market is unusually deep this year,” MacLellan said. “I talked to his agent last week briefly about where he’s at and the kind of opportunities he’s looking for.

“I would assume he goes to free agency and we’ll keep in contact with him throughout the free agency period and see if he’s getting what he wants.”



Though his numbers weren't exactly encouraging this season, Holtby's resume is quite impressive overall, carrying a career SV% of .916 and to go along with a 2.53 GAA over 10 seasons with the Caps. If his Stanley Cup ring isn't proof enough that the 30-year-old (who turns 31 on Wednesday) has been one of the NHL's best over that span, then surely his Vezina Trophy should in 2016 should help support that argument.

Given all of the evidence, it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which Holtby does not receive an offer with another club to become their #1, pricing himself well out of the market for the Capitals, who are projected to have around $8.9M in cap space to spend, with decisions looming on UFA's Brenden Dillon, Ilya Kovalchuk and Radko Gudas, along with RFA's Jonas Siegenthaler and Travis Boyd - not to mention whatever Alexander Ovechkin commands on his next deal.

With Russian netminder Ilya Samsonov as the heir apparent to take over in goal, the writing looks to be on the wall for Holtby in Washington.

MIKE ARMENTI
SEPTEMBER 15, 2020  (15H33)
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