Washington Capitals Goalie Braden Holtby Assigned to Hershey Bears

Ethan Batson@battybatsContributor IMarch 27, 2011

MONTREAL, CANADA - MARCH 15:  Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals stops the puck during the NHL game aagainst the Montreal Canadiens t the Bell Centre on March 15, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals have assigned goalie Braden Holtby to the Hershey Bears, Capitals vice president and general manager George McPhee announced early Sunday.

The news comes the day after Holtby posted a shutout against the Montreal Canadiens the night before.

The 21-year-old Holtby has played in 14 games at the NHL level this season. Since joining the Capitals, Holtby has posted a 10-2-2 record against NHL opponents, with a save percentage of .930. He has let up only 1.79 goals per game.

Holtby was not quite as effective with the Hershey Bears this season, posting a record of 14-8-2 in 25 games.

The news comes as Washington shuffles their three young goalies. Michal Neuvirth is the senior of the trio at only 23 years of age, and Semyon Varlamov is 22.

All three goalies have shown that they are capable of playing and playing well at the highest level, giving Capitals management a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless.

Barring injury, it looks as though Neuvirth and Varlamov will compete for the starting job going into the playoffs.

Varlamov has stepped up in the playoffs for the Capitals, posting a goals-against average of 2.53 in 2009, and 2.41 in 2010. Neuvirth has yet to play in a playoff game with the Capitals, but has excelled with the Hershey Bears in their past playoff appearances.

At the end of the 2009-2010 season, the Capitals decided not to retain veteran goalie Jose Theodore because of the three young stars they had in the making.

With other needs besides the goaltender position, one can only speculate what the Capitals will do with the plethora of talent at goalie, and how much longer all three goalies will stay with the Capitals franchise.