The Washington Capitals shared some bad news with respect to their goaltending situation on Saturday as goaltender Ilya Samsonov has suffered an injury that will end his season.
This wasn’t an injury suffered in training camp, but before. It’s only being announced to reporters now because he’s not listed on the team’s playoff-eligible roster that was submitted on Friday.
Samsonov will not travel to Toronto and will remain in Washington to continue undergoing treatment. The Caps expect him to be healthy for 20/21 season.
The Capitals are considering him the netminder of their future and him returning from injury will be key as the team has him for one more year on an entry-level deal and need to know they can heavily invest him long-term.
The rookie goaltender went 16-6-2 with a .913 save percentage and 2.55 goals-against average.
What Does This Mean For Holtby?
Obviously, this is not the way Braden Holtby wanted to get back the net in Washington, but for the veteran netminder, this is a huge opportunity. He’s coming off a lousy season with awful numbers compared to the rest of his career — he posted a 3.11 GAA with a .897 SV% in 48 appearances. There has been a ton of talk that the Capitals won’t make room for him next season and that he’ll be forced to test free agency, despite saying he’d like to stay with the franchise.
If Holtby can perform well and the Capitals go far, he may convince the Caps to move things around to keep him. At the very least, he’ll up his value to other teams in a free agent market that probably won’t be kind to goalies in a flat salary cap situation.
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