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Caps Rumors: Lundqvist to Washington?

October 6, 2020, 11:02 AM ET [3 Comments]
Brian Sickles
Washington Capitals Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Hello All,

Quick post today. The latest rumor swirling in DC is quite a significant one. Henrik Lundqvist is rumored to be heavily favored to land in DC. As mentioned in my previous post, an affordable veteran goalie is a must-add for the Capitals this offseason.

With the likely departure of Braden Holtby as a result of free agency, the Caps are only left with the following goalies:

Ilya Samsonov – 23 years old, 26 NHL Games Played
Vitek Vanecek – 24 years old, 0 NHL Games Played
Pheonix Copley -28 years old, 29 Games Played

The reality is pretty clear and straight forward. Without Holtby, the Capitals lack an incredible amount of experience in net. Samsonov IS the future and most Caps fans would say the future is now! He posted great numbers his rookie season and finished 12th in Calder Trophy votes with a 2.55 GAA and .913 SV%. However, even with Samsonov emerging, it would certainly be worth signing a veteran guy like Lundqvisat for insurance purposes. In this situation, I would expect the Caps to lean on Samsonov more heavily than they did last season. I would guess it will be more of a 70-30 split or 60-40 in favor of Samsonov.

I think most fans around the league will likely go with the narrative that the Capitals’ “window is closing”. With Laviolette now the head coach, fans have a reason for optimism again. Fans (myself included) are hopeful Laviolette can reverse the trend of back to back first round playoff exits. The defense will only get better and it will certainly be better than what the Rangers had to offer in front of Lundqvist last season. The Rangers allowed 34 shots/game which ranked 5th most in the league. They also allowed 2nd most giveaways per 60minutes at 11.74. Lastly, the Rangers gave up 48 shot attempts per game. The Capitals were not perfect last season but they would be an upgrade for Lundqvist. I believe a fresh coaching system, new team, and stronger defense can help Lundqvist improve his numbers. He likely won’t be elite anywhere he goes but he has potential to be an above average backup for a team still fully capable of winning a cup in the next few years.

I am in favor of this signing if Lundqvist is willing to take 2-2.5mil on a 1-year deal.
Thoughts?

Thanks for reading, Go Caps!
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