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Capitals’ Future, Part One: Goaltending
While most of this offseason will be consumed with who the Capitals will hire as the next head coach, we should also start focussing on what the roster will look like come October. This will be divided into three parts: Goalies, defense, and forwards. Also, for our intents and purposes, we’ll be using the 2011-2012 cap figure of $64.3 million. This is because of the unknown cap for next season due to the expiring collective bargaining agreement, so the amount of flexibility can vary depending upon what happens once the CBA is ratified.
According to the site Capgeek, this is how the Capitals used their cap space on goaltending and who currently is a free agent:
If you’re not familiar with this tool, the first column after the name shows what they were paid this past season, and so forth. The two key names on this list- Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth– are still under contract for this coming season. Tomas Vokoun and Dany Sabourin, however, will become unrestricted free agents come July 1st. Sabourin will likely be re-signed sometime before July 1st, but George McPhee won’t make this a priority. Vokoun has already stated that he wasn’t planning on coming back to Washington next season, which is important to free up cap space for other players. Sabourin, once signed, will end up making the same amount of money next season as he did this season and will be down in Hershey fighting for the starting job with prospect Philipp Grubauer, who played this past season for the South Carolina Stingrays.
Who returns: Neuvirth, Holtby, Sabourin
Who leaves: Vokoun
2011-2012 spending: $3,812,777
2012-2013 spending: $2,312,777
Difference: Saving $1,500,000 from previous season