The Hershey Bears are now in the market for a backup goalie.
Zach Fucale, the team’s No. 2 goaltender this season, intends to sign with the KHL’s Traktor Chelyabinsk after the Calder Cup Finals, the team’s general manager said Monday.
“He’s a skilled goalie who has been considering continuing his career in the KHL for a long time,” Traktor executive Alexei Volkov told Sport24 in Russia, according to a DeepL-generated translation. “Here he wants to find new motivation for himself, to raise his level of play. As soon as he finished playing for Hershey, and we get permission from Washington to announce an agreement before July 1, when his contract expires, we will make an official announcement.”
Fucale, 28, appeared in 38 regular season games with Hershey this season as the backup to Hunter Shepard. He went 21-11-4 in that time with a goals against average of 2.54.
HOLY FUCALE pic.twitter.com/zVSGIDAkCe
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The top goalie chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft, Fucale spent three seasons in the Montreal Canadiens organization before suiting up in the minor leagues for the Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Capitals signed Fucale to a two-way contract in 2020, beginning his stint with the organization. He made his NHL debut in 2021, setting a league record for the longest shutout streak to start a career.
The Bears are awaiting their opponent in the Calder Cup Finals. A schedule has not been announced.