Photo: The Canuck Way
According to Donnie & Dhali, eight teams called the Vancouver Canucks on Friday morning about former Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby just ahead of the roster freeze at 3 PM ET on Saturday, two hours before teams must submit their protection lists for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.
The Canucks are expected to protect Thatcher Demko as their goalie that the Seattle Kraken cannot take. Therefore, Holtby will likely be exposed and could be picked.
Though, baring a side deal with the Kraken, that is not likely as the 31-year-old carries a $4.3 million cap hit through next season and is coming off of the two worst seasons of his career. Holtby played just 21 games last season, finishing with a career-worst 7-11-3 record, .889 save percentage, and a 3.67 goals-against average. He set career-worsts in each category in his final season with the Capitals in 2019-20, where he went 25-14-6 with an .897 save percentage and a 3.11 goals-against average.
The Kraken are reportedly considering taking Holtby as their pick from the Canucks, according to Rick Dhaliwal. It is unknown who the other seven teams are. Holtby’s contract contains a four-team no-trade clause.
In 489 career NHL games with the Capitals and Canucks, Holtby, who ranks second among the Capitals’ all-time wins leaders, has gone 289-133-49 with a .915 save percentage, a 2.58 goals-against average, and 35 shutouts. He has gone 50-46-1 with a .926 save percentage, a 2.13 goals-against average, and seven shutouts in 97 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Capitals, who drafted Holtby 93rd overall in 2008.
After sitting out the first five periods of the team’s run to the Stanley Cup in 2018 to Philipp Grubauer, Holtby went 16-7 with a .923 save percentage, a 2.16 goals-against average, and two shutouts, including back-to-back whitewashes in Games 6 and 7 against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final.
He won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender in 2016, when he tied Martin Brodeur’s wins in a single season (48) record), and was a finalist again in 2017.
— Donnie & Dhali (@DonnieandDhali) July 16, 2021
By Harrison Brown