The Washington Capitals announced that goalie Justin Peters underwent left knee surgery on Monday and should be ready to compete in training camp.
Getting ready by then could be key for the 28-year-old, as you get the impression that he’s the odd man out of the Caps’ goalie rotation. Japers’ Rink postulated back in late June that Philipp Grubauer will back up Braden Holtby instead of Peters in 2015-16:
When the Caps re-signed Philipp Grubauer to a two-year, one-way deal, it was a pretty clear indication that they see him as ready to take on the role of Braden Holtby’s understudy (assuming, of course, that a Holtby deal gets done). For starters, while the Caps still have Justin Peters under contract, it’s clear that they’ve lost faith in him (if they ever had any in the first place) and see Grubauer as a better option to back-up Holtby. But another factor here is that Grubauer would need to clear waivers to be sent to Hershey and he wouldn’t clear, so the Caps’ choice would essentially be keep Grubauer in the NHL or lose him. Not much of a choice, is it?
Indeed, Peters didn’t play well at all during his first season with the Capitals, going 3-6-1 with a putrid .881 save percentage in 12 games. His overall career numbers aren’t anything that will leave GMs all that excited, either, although he showed moderate promise in 2013-14: 7-9-4 but with a .919 save percentage in 21 appearances.
Really, he hasn’t even distinguished himself at the AHL level, for that matter.
Long story short, Peters needs to prove himself with his current contract expiring, even if he may be auditioning as much for other teams as he is for Washington.
Marco Sturm, the highest-scoring German player in NHL history, has agreed to become the head coach and general manager of Germany’s national team.
“I’m very proud that the DEB [German hockey federation] gives me the huge responsibility and I’m really immensely looking forward to this challenging and exciting task I will work on with huge motivation,” Sturm said, per the IIHF website. “Together we want to go the next step with German ice hockey.”
Sturm, 36, retired last January after a 15-year NHL career that went through San Jose, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, Vancouver and Florida. He also represented Germany at nearly every international level, participating in three Winter Olympics.
As mentioned in his quote above, this new gig will be a challenge. Sturm, who doesn’t have any pro coaching experience, inherits a struggling national team; Germany finished a disappointing 10th at the 2015 World Hockey Championships, suffering one of the biggest blowouts of the tournament, a 10-0 loss to Canada.
This came on the heels of an equally disappointing effort at the ’14 tourney, in which the Germans needed group stage wins over Latvia and Kazakhstan to avoid relegation.
Currently, there are seven German skaters in the NHL: Tobias Rieder, Dennis Seidenberg, Christian Ehrhoff, Marcel Goc, Leon Draisaitl, Korbinian Holzer and David Wolf. Thomas Greiss and Philipp Grubauer are the country’s lone netminders.
The Washington Capitals have agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with Dan Ellis, per the team’s website.
Ellis is a veteran of 212 career NHL games. The 35-year-old netminder posted a 2.35 GAA and .914 save percentage in eight contests with the Florida Panthers in 2014-15. He also had a 2.71 GAA and .904 save percentage in 37 AHL contests.
He’ll probably start the campaign competing for playing time in the minors with another veteran goaltender in Justin Peters. Meanwhile 25-year-old Braden Holtby and 23-year-old Philipp Grubauer are projected to begin the 2015-16 season as the Capitals’ starting and backup netminders respectively.
Due in part to the youth of the Capitals’ top two goalies, the projected AHL tandem has logged more NHL games than their Washington counterparts.
Washington has already had a busy summer with the signing of Justin Williams and acquisition of T.J. Oshie, but the team isn’t finished yet. It still needs to come to terms with restricted free agents Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Holtby.
SUNRISE — There wasn’t one last year, or the year before.
But this year, we got one — with the 22nd pick of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Washington broke the mold and selected Russian netminder Ilya Samsonov from KHL club Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
Samsonov, 18, was one of the Russian league’s top junior-age goalies this season, and appeared in one game for the senior Metallurg squad. At 6-foot-4 and 203 pounds, his size and athletic ability put him out in front among draft-eligible goalies this season.
As mentioned above, we haven’t had a goalie go in the first round for quite a while. Calgary took Mason McDonald 34th overall in 2014 and, the year prior, Montreal took Zachary Fucale with the 36th pick. The last goalies to go in Round 1 were both in 2012, when Andrei Vasilevskiy went No. 19 to Tampa Bay and Malcolm Subban went at 24 to Boston.
It’ll be interesting to hear why Caps GM Brian MacLellan opted to go this route. His starter, Braden Holtby, is still just 25 years old and the new backup, Philipp Grubauer, doesn’t turn 24 until the fall. That said, it’s been an awfully long time since the team drafted a goalie — three years ago, the Caps took Sergei Kostenko in the seventh round.
Braden Holtby, who missed Friday’s game due to illness, is expected to return to the Washington Capitals net for Game 3 on Sunday.
Holtby made 23 saves in the Caps’ Game 1 loss to the Islanders.
“I don’t think there will be any questions,” said Holtby when asked about his health. “I don’t know if I lost more energy stressing out through the game or through the sickness.”
Philipp Grubauer made 18 saves in Friday’s 4-3 Game 2 win.
Jonas Hiller will return to the net on Sunday when the Calgary Flames host the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3.
Hiller left Game 2 late in the third period after allowing three goals on 29 shots in the Flames’ 4-1 loss.
Karri Ramo played 4:58 in relief.