This is shaping up to be an interesting off-season for the Washington Capitals and general manager Brian MacLellan, with re-signing pending restricted free agent goalie Braden Holtby among the priorities.
Holtby, 25, is coming off an impressive 2014-15 season, with 41 wins, a .923 save percentage (seventh in the NHL) and 2.22 goals-against average (fifth in the NHL). His Stanley Cup playoff was even better, although it only lasted two rounds after a seven-game series loss to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinal.
Still, he posted a .944 save percentage and 1.71 goals-against average in 13 post-season games, which were both good enough for second amongst all NHL goalies in the playoffs. According to Sportsnet.ca, Holtby had a cap hit of $1.85 million this past season.
“We’re negotiating,” MacLellan told Craig Custance of ESPN. “We’re trying to get a good deal done for both parties. He’s a priority for us. I think we’ll get it done. It seems to be going the proper way in negotiations.”
The latest developments in the case of the Arizona Coyotes versus the City of Glendale occurred following a hearing Friday afternoon.
From Peter Corbett of azcentral.com:
A Maricopa County Superior Court judge granted the Arizona Coyotes’ request for a temporary injunction to keep the City of Glendale from voiding the team’s arena deal during a hearing Friday afternoon in downtown Phoenix.
According to the Maricopa County Superior Court’s Twitter account, the next court date for this case is June 29. The news on Friday comes after a contentious city council meeting Wednesday, when the City of Glendale voted to cancel its arena-management agreement with the Coyotes.
Coyotes co-owner, president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc made it clear the organization planned to not only file for a temporary restraining order, but a request for injunctive relief and a claim for damages for up to $200 million.
With one more assist, Duncan Keith would tie Bobby Orr for the fourth highest total for assists in one playoff by an NHL defenseman, which means he’s among elite company.
The 31-year-old Keith has 18 helpers in these playoffs for the Chicago Blackhawks, who find themselves in a 2-2 series tie with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Stanley Cup.
According to the NHL, there are only four defenseman in league history with more assists in one playoff than Keith. That list includes Paul Coffey (25 in 1985); Al MacInnis (24 in 1989); Brian Leetch (23 in 1994); and Orr (19 in 1972).
With a maximum of three games remaining in this series, it may be too much for Keith to break Coffey’s record, set 30 years ago.
But the post-season Keith — already a two-time Stanley Cup champ and two-time Olympic gold medalist — has put together puts him into the conversation for the Conn Smythe Trophy.
It could be that Keith joins Orr for fourth all-time on the aforementioned list, and perhaps even passes him Saturday when the Blackhawks face the Lightning in Game 5.
Of course, Keith would probably prefer a win for his team.