One of the most intriguing subplots of the Washington Capitals’ offseason is whether the team plans to keep all three of its young goaltenders who are challenging for NHL starts or alter the platoon system in net. It may be the latter.
Restricted free agent Semyon Varlamov is unlikely to re-sign with the Capitals, according to a report from Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy and Sovetsky Sport. A resolution of Varlamov’s status should occur before free agency begins on Friday, according to Chesnokov.
Washington has submitted a qualifying offer to Varlamov, 23, which gives the team negotiating rights and the ability to match any outside offer sheet. If Varlamov signs an offer sheet with another NHL team, the Capitals would be entitled to draft pick compensation. Should Varlamov return to Russia to play in the Kontinental Hockey League, however, the Capitals would not be compensated, although they would retain his negotiating rights.
Varlamov is the only netminder that played for the Capitals last season not under contract for the upcoming year. The other goaltenders are Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby. Varlamov finished with a 11-9-5 record, 2.23 goals against average and .924 save percentage in 27 games, but saw his playing time significantly limited by groin and knee injuries.
In addition to Varlamov, the Capitals submitted qualifying offers to Karl Alzner and Troy Brouwer along with prospects Mathieu Perreault and Francois Bouchard. Players have until July 15 to accept or decline the offer, while the deadline for players to request salary arbitration is next Tuesday. Those who did not receive qualifying offers — prospects Josh Godfrey, Joe Finley and Trevor Bruess — will become unrestricted free agents on Friday.
Brouwer, acquired in a trade last week, is the only restricted agent with arbitration rights this year.
Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said Monday the team will be active participants in the remainder of the offseason through free agent signings and possibly trades.
“We want to keep some players. We want to sign some players. Wish us well in all of our pursuits,” Leonsis wrote on his blog, Ted’s Take. “And then don’t be surprised if you see some trades. It takes two to tango. We want to change and improve. We are getting ready for a new season which is fast approaching.” . . .
The Capitals placed defenseman Tyler Sloan on waivers. The deadline to buy out a player is Thursday.