Braden Holtby tenure with Capitals done, heading to free agency

Braden Holtby with the Cup (The Associated Press/John Locher)

The Washington Capitals continue to make news today. After hiring Peter Laviolette to be their new head coach, Brian MacLellan revealed that he expects Braden Holtby to go to free agency. That would end his tenure with the Caps.

Braden Holtby heading to free agency

“Yeah, I would expect him to go to free agency,” the Capitals General Manager told the press. “I talked to his agent last week briefly about where he’s at and the kind of opportunities he’s looking for. I would assume he goes to free agency, and we’ll keep in contact with him throughout the free agency period to see if he’s getting what he wants.”

Braden Holtby news
Holtby will be skating away from the Caps (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

The goalie market is going to be flooded with some big names, whether that’s via free agency or trade. Pittsburgh is actively shopping Matt Murray. One of Vegas’ goalies will be on the market should Robin Lehner reach an agreement, it will be Marc-Andre Fleury. And if the Rangers indeed buyout Henrik Lundqvist, as rumored, that’s another challenge for Holtby to land a big deal.

Holtby will still have options

Obviously when it comes to goalies available, Holtby is a Stanley Cup winner with plenty left in the tank. The goaltender is coming off a deal with a cap hit of $6.1 million and may have to take a moderate raise to land with a contender.

I expect the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, and Edmonton Oilers to all make offers for the 30 year-old backstop. He may have to sacrifice term for more money, or take less for more term in this current COVID climate.

Bottom line, there’s a market for Holtby and he will be playing elsewhere next season.

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