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Sammi’s Daily: Capitals Active To Open Free Agency, Gaudreau Headlines Big Moves

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Could the Capitals pursue Darcy Kuemper?

ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals didn’t sit back on the first day of free agency, getting down to business to address multiple voids up and down the lineup, while also bringing back a few key players.

All the while, as general manager Brian MacLellan was working the phones and sending contracts back and forth, the Capitals young prospects were on the ice for development camp.

Here’s all the latest news and notes from D.C. and across the league, and everything to know following an active opening day of free agency:

Capitals Links

  • Washington found its No. 1 netminder, signing Darcy Kuemper to a five-year deal. (WHN)
  • Talking to Kuemper, the Capitals were the team he wanted to sign with the most in 2022 NHL Free Agency, and he believes that a Stanley Cup is well within reach. (WHN)
  • After Kuemper, Washington brought on Charlie Lindgren to close out its new tandem. (WHN)
  • When all was said and done, general manager Brian MacLellan explained why the Capitals went for a complete overhaul and moved on from Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek. (WHN)
  • In addition to goaltending, Washington bolstered the blue line, replacing Justin Schultz with Erik Gustafsson and re-signing Matt Irwin. (WHN)
  • Then, on the forward lines, the team made noise when it traded for Connor Brown. (WHN)
  • Henrik Borgstrom is also reportedly joining the mix, though a deal hasn’t officially been announced yet. (WHN)
  • And, to cap off the day, the club re-signed Marcus Johansson to a one-year deal. (WHN)
  • Beyond free agency, here is everything to know from Day 3 of Capitals Development Camp, from on-ice testing to 3-on-3 scrimmages.

NHL Links

  • Johnny Gaudreau made headlines as he chose to leave the Calgary Flames for the Columbus Blue Jackets — and Flames faithful aren’t too pleased. (CHN)
  • Evgeni Malkin decided to stay with the Pittsburgh Penguins after all. (PHN)
  • The Detroit Red Wings were among the busiest clubs, bringing in Andrew Copp, Ben Chiarot and many more. (DHN)
  • The Florida Panthers saw Claude Giroux make his way to his hometown Ottawa Senators. (FHN)
  • And, Brent Burns is now a member of the Carolina Hurricanes as the San Jose Sharks start to shake things up. (SJHN)

Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes

  • Overall, Washington had a strong opening day of free agency, and their signings should be considered a win. There appear to be quite a few critics of the Johansson re-signing, but looking at his defensive play, he met expectations with regard to puck possession. Plus, he’s well-liked in the room and brings a reliable, veteran presence.
  • Given the team’s signings, I still expect Connor McMichael to be the second-line center this season.
  • As for defense, GMBM expects Gustafsson to take on a third-pairing role alongside Trevor van Riemsdyk, who will return to his natural right side. But, don’t count out Lucas Johansen just yet.
  • Joe Snively and Brett Leason also have one-way deals, so they will also have to work to stay in the mix this coming season. I see Snively making an impact and cracking the opening night roster one way or another.
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