Audition blown: Capitals demote Holtby to minors

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In 14 games last season, Braden Holtby put up some dazzling numbers for the Washington Capitals. We’re talking about the kind of stats that encouraged excitable Caps fans to say that Semyon Varlamov was the third best goalie on the team last off-season.

That well-intentioned hubris lost a lot of steam last night as the San Jose Sharks handled Holtby and the Capitals 5-3. The Caps brass certainly noticed – and also likely reacted to Tomas Vokoun’s improving health – by sending Holtby back down to the minors today.

Forwards Keith Aucoin and Joel Rechlicz (if you can call Rechlicz a forward) will join Hotlby back on the Hershey Bears roster. With decent but unspectacular AHL stats, it’s probably appropriate for Holtby to get more seasoning on that level before he takes another shot at the NHL.