Friday has been quite the day so far for Dallas Stars netminder Braden Holtby, who is preparing to make his first-ever start against his former team in the Washington Capitals.
The 32-year-old will get the nod on Friday, and also got another special gift ahead of puck drop. Dallas and general manager Jim Nill presented Holtby with a silver stick commemorating 500 career NHL games. He reached the milestone back in November, and 468 of those games were with the Capitals.
The Dallas Stars also recognized Braden Holtby today for playing in his 500th NHL game in late November.
(468 of those games were with WSH) pic.twitter.com/tIMEMDH8l6
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) January 28, 2022
Over 10 years in D.C., Holtby made quite the impact, rising to an elite level and winning the Vezina in 2016. The Saskatchewan native finished his tenure with a 282-122-46 record, along with a .916 save percentage and 2.53 GAA. He was also integral in leading Washington to its first Stanley Cup title back in 2018. “The Save” he made in Game 2 also lives on as one of the greatest moments in D.C. sports history.
“He was the main reason why we’ve been successful for long time… he was unbelievable for us, and we play unbelievable for him and he’s great person,” Evgeny Kuznetsov said. “When you say, ‘Braden Holtby,’ that save always like a picture in your eyes, right? It’ll be in my memory forever for sure. He’s good teammate and I’m happy for him that he’s still playing hockey and I hope he’s enjoy it every day.”
READ MORE ON WHN: Capitals Reflect On Holtby’s Impact As They Face Him For First Time
Holtby left Washington in 2020 and signed a deal in Vancouver, but the Canucks bought out his contract at the end of the 2020-21 campaign. He then signed a one-year deal with the Stars in the offseason. So far, he has been an outstanding addition for Dallas, going 9-8-1 with a .917 SV% and 2.60 GAA through 21 games.
Holtby also received other commemorative items, including a large bottle of cab.