For many Capitals fans, the long wait is over. Braden Holtby has signed a new contract! “The Great Wall of Chinatown” signed a 5-year, $30.5 million contract today. The breakdown is $3.5M plus $3M bonus this year. Then, two years at $7M and two more at $5M. Braden Holtby’s $6.1 million AAV is seventh-most among NHL goalies (Lundqvist, Bobrovsky, Rask, Rinne, Price, Ward). The Caps now have $4.2 million in cap space.
“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.”
With less than one day before the deadline for an independent ruling, the two sides ultimately met in the middle and got the deal done. Like P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens a year ago, a deal was reached before the arbitrator ruled.
On Tuesday, July 21, as a part of pre-brief filings required by the NHL arbitration process, it was learned that the Caps offer was actually lower than previously thought, at $5.1 million, and that the Holtby camp was actually asking for much more – $8 million. The deal came with about 24 hours remaining in the arbitrators decision process.
On Saturday, July 11th, Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan announced that Braden Holtby’s arbitration date had been set for July 23, (Marcus Johansson’s was set for July 29). MacLellan also stated that there was an “aggressive’ offer on the table from the Caps. As of July 11th, the Capitals offer had “maxed in the mid-$5 million range, while Holtby’s team had countered around $1 million higher, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation.” Since that date, not much news had surfaced regarding any progress in the negotiations.