The Canadian Press
After re-signing captain Alex Ovechkin and trading away defenseman Brenden Dillon in the days leading up to NHL free agency 2021, the Washington Capitals’ most pressing need was to find a goaltender to shore up the gap left by the departure of Vitek Vanecek in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft to the Seattle Kraken. On the first day of free agency, the Kraken inked former Capitals netminder Philipp Grubauer (most recently with the Colorado Avalanche) to a long-term deal, and with a crowded situation in net in Seattle something may have to give.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, it is believed that the Capitals could be interested in a reunion with Vanecek if the Kraken are willing to consider.
Believe WASH would have interest in re-acquiring Vitek Vanecek if the Kraken so desired
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 28, 2021
With limited salary cap space to deal with, a deal to bring Vanecek back into the fold would make sense given his $716,667 cap hit, and his performance in his first full NHL season, in which he finished with a 21-10-4 record and 2.69 Goals-Against Average, .908 Save Percentage, and two shutouts. In addition, he was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for January during the season, starting 36 games while splitting time during the season with fellow young netminder Ilya Samsonov.
By Michael Fleetwood