Caps expect goalie Holtby to enter free agency

Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said he expects goaltender Braden Holtby to enter free agency.

“Yeah, I would expect him to go to free agency,” MacLellan said Tuesday. “The goalie market is probably a little unusually deep this year. 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.”

If Holtby walks, the team would turn to 23-year-old Ilya Samsonov in net.

Holtby, 30, who backstopped the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2018, has not been able to find much postseason success since. The Capitals have lost in the first round the past two seasons, and last month, against the New York Islanders, Holtby gave 14 goals in a five-game ouster.

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