Ex-Capitals Goalie Braden Holtby, Canucks Agree to 2-Year Contract for $4.3M AAV

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2020

Washington Capitals' Braden Holtby plays during an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Vancouver Canucks announced Friday they've signed former Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby to a two-year, $8.6 million contract.

"We are pleased to add Braden, an experienced and established goaltender, to our roster," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. "Braden is a Stanley Cup champion, brings leadership and has demonstrated the ability to rise to the occasion in big games. He will be an important part of our team."

Vancouver is betting on a rebound from Holtby, whose performance has dropped off over the past three seasons after previously being one of the NHL's top netminders.

The 31-year-old Canadian has posted a mediocre 2.96 goals against average and .906 save percentage with three shutouts since the start of the 2017-18 campaign. He'd compiled a 2.31 GAA and .922 save percentage across his first seven years in the NHL.

His best statistical season came in 2016-17, right before the drop off, when he amassed a 2.07 GAA and .925 save percentage with nine shutouts.

Holtby is a five-time All-Star who won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie for the 2015-16 season and earned the William M. Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals allowed during the 2016-17 campaign.

"My focus right now is to win a championship and moving forward, is to find the next best place to win a championship with," Holtby told reporters in July during the Caps' playoff run. "Hopefully, it's here. Hopefully, everything works out, but you never know."

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Now he'll take over as the Canucks' No. 1 netminder, and he should receive a lion's share of the starts with Thatcher Demko filling the backup role.

Meanwhile, the Capitals signed longtime New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist to fill the void between the pipes heading into next season.