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Capitals’ Lindgren Takes Ice For Training At Alma Mater St. Cloud State

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Capitals goalie Charlie Lindgren

To prepare for Year 1 with the Washington Capitals, Charlie Lindgren headed back to school.

At the end of August, the 28-year-old netminder returned to his alma mater St. Cloud State University for some training. He took the ice at Herb Brooks National Hockey Center to skate with Ryan Poehling and Will Borgen, as well as other alumni that have made it to the pros.

Lindgren’s standout play at St. Cloud State ultimately led to him making the jump to professional hockey. The undrafted free agent signed his first NHL deal with the Montreal Canadiens in March 2016 after an impressive junior season with the Huskies, where he went 30-9-1 with a .925 save percentage and 2.13 GAA. That same year, he was also the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Goaltender of the Year and a First Team All-American.

Over his three years in the NCAA, Lindgren went 51-29-3 with a .921 SV% and 2.21 GAA. He additionally broke school records.

The 2022-23 campaign will mark Lindgren’s first full season up at the NHL level. Still, he has experience and has played in 29 NHL games, boasting a .913 SV% and 2.74 GAA. However, 2021-22 marked a turning point for the 6-2, 179-pound goalie, as he went 5-0-0 with a .958 SV% and 1.22 GAA while up with the St. Louis Blues and also ranked second among all AHL goaltenders with a .925 SV% for the Springfield Thunderbirds.

READ MORE ON WHN: Inside Darcy Kuemper’s New Washington Capitals Mask

There was a lot of buzz surrounding Lindgren as he hit free agency, and ultimately, general manager Brian MacLellan chose to take a calculated risk and ink Lindgren to a three-year, $3.3 million deal. He will back up new starter Darcy Kuemper, who signed a five-year, $26.25 million deal to open free agency.

“A really great person, a great team guy, has had some good numbers as well,” head coach Peter Laviolette said of No. 79. “Definitely a new look in net for us. And we’re really excited about it.”

Both Kuemper and Lindgren are replacing Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek. Neither Washington-grown goalies could find consistency or establish themselves as the legitimate starter. And after two years and four consecutive first-round exits, MacLellan and the Capitals chose to move on and completely overhaul their goaltending while also bringing in older names.

“I think we’re going to be more stable now with the tandem we have, and that was the goal,” MacLellan said. “We wanted to change our goaltending, and we accomplished it. I feel good about both guys that we’ve gotten, and I look forward to the season with both of them in net.”

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