ARLINGTON, V.A. — Darcy Kuemper has officially entered the chat. The 32-year-old joined the Washington Capitals for informal skates on Monday, taking in his new home at MedStar Capitals Iceplex with a little over a week to go until training camp.
Kuemper joins a busy group at MedStar, which also includes fellow netminder Charlie Lindgren, captain Alex Ovechkin, Carl Hagelin and several more. He started the day by working with Charlie Lindgren and goaltending coach Scott Murray.
Darcy Kuemper has officially joined the Capitals. He and Lindgren talking it up. pic.twitter.com/aZWt9lFCTQ
— Sammi Silber (@sammisilber) September 12, 2022
Here’s a first look at the new goalie in Capitals gear. He is also wearing his new mask with a fresh Washington-themed paint job. Kuemper also has a red, white and blue Vaughn setup for his pads, blockers and glove. His warrior stick is also red, white and blue.
Kuemper is fresh off a Stanley Cup-winning season with the Colorado Avalanche that saw him win a season-high 37 games last year, while also boasting a .921 save percentage (fifth in the NHL). After hoisting the Cup with the Avalanche, Kuemper hit free agency as he and the team parted ways. The Capitals immediately reached out and inked the Saskatoon native to a five-year, $26.25 million contract. The team then signed Lindgren to a three-year deal to complete its new tandem.
“Once I knew Washington was interested, it was a place I could really see myself fitting in. I was really excited at that thought,” Kuemper said. “This is where I wanted to go of all the options. And I’m really excited that we were able to get something done.”
READ MORE ON WHN: An Inside Look At Washington Capitals Informal Skates
After two seasons of experimenting with a 1A/1B tandem of youngsters Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek, the Capitals chose to revamp their goaltending as neither could find consistency or take the reins as the surefire starter. Kuemper brings a veteran presence and a wealth of experience, as well as consistency and strong numbers. The 6-5 goaltender’s .921 save percentage over the last five seasons leads all NHL netminders with at least 150 games played.