Ilya Samsonov, Dominik Kubalik, Dylan Strome, among notable new free agents

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The Capitals did not make a qualifying offer to Ilya Samsonov on Monday, a surprising move that left Washington without a goalie on its NHL roster.

The decision makes Samsonov an unrestricted free agent and comes three days after the team traded goalie Vitek Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils. According to Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic, the decision was financial.

Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan told reporters last week that the team would qualify Samsonov.

Washington now figures to be a major player in the NHL’s offseason goalie carousel. Samsonov and Vanecek combined to start 78 of the 82 games last season.

Samsonov, the organization’s 2015 first-round draft pick, went 23-12-5 last season with an .896 save percentage and a 3.02 goals-against average.

In three years in Washington, he went 52-22-8 with six shutouts, a .902 save percentage and a 2.81 GAA.

The Caps extended qualifying offers to two of their organizational prospects, forward Damien Riat and defenseman Tobias Geisser.

Blackhawks let Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome walk

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Mar 3, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Dominik Kubalik (8) reacts after scoring a goal during the third period against the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks chose not to tender qualifying offers to forwards Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome, making both unrestricted free agents Monday.

Chicago announced it made qualifying offers to defenseman Caleb Jones and center Philipp Kurashev.

The Blackhawks also placed forwards Henrik Borgstrom and Brett Connolly on unconditional waivers Monday for the purpose of a buyout.

Kubalik, 26, spent his first three NHL seasons with Chicago and was a 30-goal scorer as a rookie before tallying 15 goals and 17 assists across 78 games in 2021-22.

Strome, 25, tallied 48 points (22 goals, 26 assists) in 69 games last season for the Blackhawks.

Kubalik and Strome are the latest talented forwards to leave Chicago, which dealt Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators and Kirby Dach to the Montreal Canadiens this month as part of a rebuild.

Jones, 25, came to Chicago before last season in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers. He tallied career highs in games (51), goals (five) and assists (10).

Kurashev, 22, saw action in 67 games last season and had six goals and 15 assists.

Borgstrom, 24, joined the Blackhawks last season after three years with the Florida Panthers. In 52 games, he notched seven points (four goals, three assists).

Connolly, 30, only got into 19 games across two seasons with the Blackhawks, who were his fifth NHL team after previous stops with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals and Panthers.

Kings let Brendan Lemieux become a UFA

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Nov 24, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Brendan Lemieux (48) warms up before the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Brendan Lemieux will become an unrestricted free agent this week after the Los Angeles Kings decided not to make the forward a qualifying offer by Monday’s deadline.

Lemieux, 26, recorded 13 points (eight goals, five assists) over 50 games for the Kings in 2021-22. He also led the team in penalty minutes with 97.

Los Angeles acquired Lemieux during the 2020-21 season in a deal with the New York Rangers, in exchange for a 2021 fourth-round draft pick.

In 230 career games with the Winnipeg Jets (2017-19), Rangers (2019-21) and Kings, he has totaled 60 points (31 goals, 29 assists) and 410 penalty minutes.

The Kings extended qualifying offers to forwards Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Gabriel Vilardi and defensemen Mikey Anderson and Sean Durzi on Monday.

–Field Level Media