The summer of 2020 will be Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman’s second full offseason with the team since returning to the organization he starred with in April of 2019.
And let’s face it, his team’s goaltending situation isn’t exactly ideal at the current time. Neither Jimmy Howard or Jonathan Bernier would be starting on a contending team, much less a playoff contender. Howard is slated to be a free-agent at season’s end, while Bernier is under contract for another season beyond this current one.
The team rebuild could take a major step forward by gaining much-needed stability in net, and a prime free agent is there for the taking this summer. And that goaltender goes by the name of Braden Holtby.
The Washington Capitals net minder is in the final year of a five-year contract that carried an annual cap hit of $6.1 million. With the dead-weight of Jimmy Howard’s $4 million and maligned defenseman Jonathan Ericsson’s $4.25 million coming off the books come July 1, a Holtby signing would be instant addition through subtraction.
With 273 career wins to his credit, Holtby helped lead the Capitals to their first ever Stanley Cup win in 2018, and has been a bonafide starter for years now.
However, the Capitals are in a unique situation. Young goaltender Ilya Samsonov is poised to take the reigns in D.C. and with a bevy of other goaltending prospects, they may elect to let Holtby walk in free-agency to save on their cap-hit.
A Holtby signing would bring instant stability to Detroit’s crease, and could be the first major step in the team rebuild. When there’s solid goaltending, a team is in good hands.
Should Yzerman pull the trigger on offering Holtby a deal to come to the Motor City?