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2022 NHL Free Agency

Report: Kuemper Expected To Sign With Capitals At Start Of Free Agency



Could the Capitals pursue Darcy Kuemper?

NHL Free Agency is just a couple of hours away, and the Washington Capitals reportedly have their goaltender.

Per ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, Washington is expected to sign Darcy Kuemper as their new starter when the market opens at 12 p.m. ET.

Kuemper is coming off a Stanley Cup-winning season with the Colorado Avalanche. Through 57 games, he went 37-12-4 with a .921 save percentage and 2.54 GAA. His SV% dropped to a .902 in the postseason, but he was also dealing with a brutal eye injury after taking a stick up high.

Through 299 career games, the 32-year-old has a .918 SV%. He has only posted a save percentage of under .915 just four times in his 10-year career, and just once over the last four seasons. That season was in 2020-21 when he played just 27 games for the last-place Arizona Coyotes.

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The Capitals currently have no active goaltenders on the roster. Washington ran with the young tandem of Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek over the last two seasons, but neither young goalie could maintain consistency or steal the No. 1 job. General manager Brian MacLellan then decided that the team would take things in a new direction and that there would be an overhaul in net. The Capitals traded Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils on Friday and then elected not to issue a qualifying offer to Ilya Samsonov on Monday. UFA Pheonix Copley also hit the market.

Beyond a starter, Washington still needs a backup option.