The Washington Capitals didn’t make the biggest boom to open NHL Free Agency. However, they did solve their solution to replacing Vitek Vanecek: they got back Vitek Vanecek.
Let’s go through the opening day of free agency and take a look at the road ahead.
- Amid a goaltending carousel on the market, Washington made a deal with the Seattle Kraken to reacquire Vanecek. We detail the deal and explain what it means for the Capitals goaltending situation going forward. (Washington Hockey Now)
- In addition to the Vanecek deal, Washington made a handful of minor league signings. Ian Oland has more on Lucas Johansen, Dylan McIlrath, Matt Irwin and Hunter Shepard. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- Other than Vanecek and a couple small transactions, it was a relatively quiet day for the Capitals to start free agency. J.J. Regan says that this could be a good thing, especially with money tight right now. (NBC Sports Washington)
- Perhaps the biggest domino to fall, and the one that led to Vanecek’s return to D.C., was Philipp Grubauer. Adrian Dater breaks down the former Capitals netminder’s decision to head to the Seattle Kraken on a six-year deal. (Colorado Hockey Now)
- Speaking of former Wahington goalies, Braden Holtby signed a one-year deal with Dallas following his buyout. Matthew DeFranks discusses the Stars’ signing and what it means for them in net. (Dallas Morning News)
- Need to keep track of all the free agency signings? Sean Leahy’s got you covered. (Pro Hockey Talk)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- Reacquiring Vanecek was the most cap-friendly move, and it was smart of the Capitals to get back a familiar name and instill trust in their youth. Also, patience is a virtue; no big move was perhaps the best move the team could’ve made to open free agency, rather than taking a major risk and further complicating the cap.
- The Capitals will hold a virtual press conference with Ted Leonsis, Dick Patrick, Brian MacLellan and Alex Ovechkin to discuss the captain’s five-year extension. It all kicks off at 2 p.m. ET today and can be livestreamed on the team and NBC Sports Washington’s social media accounts.
- Reminder to check out Vancouver Hockey Now, our newest sister site led by Rob Simpson.