Tag: Braden Holtby

Braden Holtby

Holtby has much to prove, possibly even to Caps’ GM


Even if it could still be a relative bargain for the Washington Capitals, it’s not lost on Braden Holtby that his five-year, $30.5 million contract puts him in select company among goalies.

Holtby provided a message during Friday’s conference call: after working to earn a raise from $1.85 million to $6.1 million per year, now he must show that he’s worth that new deal.

As the seventh-highest paid netminder in the NHL, some would expect “elite” work. Interestingly, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan wasn’t ready to put him in that category just yet.

“I don’t know if I would call him elite,” MacLellan said. “He’s above average, that’s for sure.”

Perhaps the Caps GM is just guilty of using some odd semantics, though. He also told reporters that he believes that Holtby has the potential to win championships for Washington and be a “top-two or top-five” goalie.

“I think he’s just touching the surface of what he could become,” MacLellan said, according to the Canadian Press. “I don’t know what the ceiling is on him.”

OK, so obviously MacLellan wasn’t burying the 25-year-old, but it was still a little weird to hear him hesitate to throw around the word elite.

Maybe he just doesn’t want Holtby’s ego to inflate along with his bank account?

Capitals investment: Holtby signs five-year, $30.5M deal

Braden Holtby

Braden Holtby received a huge raise on Friday, but it was more than reasonable considering his breakout season with the Washington Capitals.

The team signed him to a five-year, $30.5 million contract, which makes him the seventh-highest paid goalie in the NHL.

“Braden emerged as a top NHL goaltender and we are pleased to sign him to a long-term contract,” GM Brian MacLellan said. “We feel Braden is just entering his prime and in his young career has already established himself as one of the best goaltenders in the history of our franchise. He is an athletic goaltender with a tremendous work ethic and is a big part of our future.”

Holtby’s cap hit comes in at $6.1 million, placing him here among netminders:

This is how the contract reportedly breaks down from a year-to-year perspective:

The 25-year-old came into 2014-15 with very nice career averages, but this was the season where he proved that he could be a big-time work horse, logging a ridiculous 73 games played. It wasn’t quantity over quality, either, as he went 41-20-10 with nine shutouts and a .923 save percentage.

His playoff work has been great, too, especially from an individual standpoint. Holtby bumped his career postseason save percentage to .936, up from his already-impressive regular season average of .921.

In many regards, Holtby is worth every penny of this deal, especially considering those numbers. It’s a nice situation for him, too, as this buys some RFA time at a healthy price. He was a steal at his previous cap hit of $1.85 million, yet his rate is pretty reasonable right now, too.

Washington has an estimated $4.22 million in cap space remaining after the deal, according to General Fanager.

No hurt feelings between Smith and Preds


In the end, Craig Smith and the Nashville Predators didn’t need an arbitrator to render a decision on his salary. The two sides reached a four-year, $21.25 million deal on their own.

But they still went through with Monday’s hearing. And as we all know, sometimes those hearings can cause hurt feelings.

Not so in this case, according to Smith and GM David Poile.

“I’ve probably said worse things (about) myself than what I heard (in) there,” Smith said, per The Tennessean.

Said Poile: “I’m sure if you talked to Craig Smith, he might have taken disagreement to things that we said, but I would be very surprised if he’s not a very happy guy today.”

Calgary’s Lance Bouma is scheduled for arbitration today. Thursday, it’s Washington’s Braden Holtby and Ottawa’s Alex Chiasson.

Related: Ah, arbitration: Holtby reportedly asking for $8 million, Caps countering at $5.1 million