After the Washington Capitals made a surprising move by trading away Vitek Vanecek, they are apparently a potential match for Goaltender and Stanley Cup champion Darcy Kuemper, according to Pierre LeBrun.
Darcy Kuemper, Cam Talbot and the rest of the goalie market after the NHL Draft. Weekend Rumblings ⤵️
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 8, 2022
Washington Eyeing Darcy Kuemper
After winning the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, Goaltender Darcy Kuemper announced that he would be entering free agency. Kuemper is leaving the team after just one season, helping the team win the 2022 Stanley Cup.
Kuemper put up a 37-12-4 record, with a 2.54 GAA, and a 0.921 save percentage this past season. He was the starting goaltender for the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup run, the first since 2001.
Kuemper’s career took off with the Arizona Coyotes, although he had previously spent time with the Minnesota Wild, and Los Angeles Kings. He was originally drafted by Minnesota 161st overall in 2009.
What This Means
For the Capitals, this is a much needed replacement for the recently traded Vanecek. Considering that they are close to entering a rebuild, this is an interesting move for the Capitals to make.
For Kuemper, Washington will be an interesting spot for him to go. He no longer needs to worry about contention, so with Washington’s window being close to shut, he could become the starter for the team and not have to worry about being a part of another grueling Cup run, considering that Cup runs take a massive toll on the body.
A potential problem down the road will be with Phoenix Copley, a young goaltender who may make the jump up within the next few years. Either Kuemper or Samsonov will have to move in order to fit Copley in. That is if they don’t want to trade him.
Kuemper’s current deal bets him $4.5 million per year so he may command $5-6 million per year if the Capitals were to sign him in free agency.
— Hockey Reference (@hockey_ref) June 23, 2022