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Washington Capitals

Sammi’s Daily: Samsonov Out, Overhaul In Net, Free Agency Eve & Camp



Washington Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov.

We’re just 24 hours away from the start of 2022 NHL Free Agency, and the Washington Capitals are sure to be busy — and now even busier considering the chain of events that unfolded on Monday.

The Capitals are going for a complete overhaul in net after electing not qualify RFA goaltender Ilya Samsonov. The 25-year-old was the only NHL netminder left following Vitek Vanecek’s trade to the New Jersey Devils. Pheonix Copley is also a UFA, and there are no goalies remaining on the active roster.

Beyond goaltending, Washington could use some secondary scoring help with Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson out for quite a bit to open the 2021-22 campaign.

Free agency opens at 12 p.m. Wednesday with a lot of top names set to hit the market. And, all the while, the Capitals are evaluating their prospects at their first development camp in two years.

Here are all the latest news and notes from the District and across the NHL:

Capitals Links

  • Here’s more on why Washington chose not to qualify Samsonov and what’s next for both sides. (WHN)
  • Meanwhile, Evgeni Malkin is set to hit free agency amid tensions and apparent bad blood between him and the Penguins. Is there anything there for the Capitals? (WHN)
  • Speaking of top UFA forwards, Washington was rumored as a potential landing spot for Evander Kane. (WHN)
  • The first day of Capitals Development Camp was filled with rigorous skating and headlined by hardcore coaching, Hendrix Lapierre and much more. (WHN)

NHL Links

  • A closer look at the Malkin situation and the Pittsburgh Penguins decision to let him walk. (PHN)
  • The Calgary Flames, meanwhile, are looking to hang on to two young stars in Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, but the negotiations aren’t easy. (CHN)
  • Meanwhile, Juraj Slafkovsky took the ice for the first time with the Montreal Canadiens for their camp — and looked great. (MHN)
  • And here’s more on Elias Pettersson — no, the other one, who took the ice at the Vancouver Canucks development camp for the first time. (VHN)

Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes

  • Now that Washington is without two netminders, I expect that they are confident in the plan they have going forward and feel good that they will land quality names in free agency. It’s tough to see two young goalies depart, but the tandem just hasn’t clicked and hasn’t been able to find consistency.
  • And, as for Samsonov, his performance didn’t warrant his projected pay raise, which was said to likely come in at around $3-3.5 million.
  • It’s only Day 2, but Lapierre looks like he’s having a lot of fun and is a man on a mission. His end goal is to make the roster this season — and stay. With his confidence, I can see him making quite a statement.
  • And yes, the Lapierre-Iorio bromance is alive. He and Vinnie are roommates for this camp and are also having a blast on the ice.