Capitals’ GM Brian MacLellan: “We Got Free Agency Coming Up…We’ll Be Involved In All The Discussions About Goalies”

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On Friday, Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan spoke to the media following the second and final day of the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal. He discussed the goaltending market, free agency, which starts on Wednesday, July 13 at 12 PM ET, and first-round pick Ivan Miroshnichenko.

MacLellan said they have been trying to “change our goaltending up a little bit” in response to this morning’s trade that sent Vitek Vanecek along with the 46th overall pick to the New Jersey Devils for picks 37 and 70 in Saturday’s draft. “This is the first step in doing that. We still got some work to do to fill out our goaltending duo and some further decisions to make,” he added.

He also noted that the organization is looking at “all of them” in terms of ways to acquire a goaltender through trades, free agency, etc. “We’re open to all avenues,” MacLellan said, adding, “[The] goaltending market is changing as we go here, day-by-day…you try to stay in things you feel are attracted to—might be a good fit. We got free agency coming up on Wednesday, so we’ll be involved in all the discussions about goalies.”

On clearing space for a significant contract for a goaltender, MacLellan said, “We can add one right now.” Additionally, knowing goaltenders are in high demand currently, he said, “Given the environment, I think it will be high.”

MacLellan has yet to speak with goaltender Ilya Samsonov and his representatives but noted they will be talking soon. Samsonov is a restricted free agent (RFA) and will receive a qualifying offer this off-season.

Regarding center Nicklas Backstrom, MacLellan said that “everybody’s happy with the way the results turned out” following successful resurfacing surgery on his left hip in mid-June. “He wants to come back to play. His intention is to play…it’s an uncertain recovery…we’ll see how he progresses.” MacLellan did say that Backstrom will not be starting the 2022-23 NHL season, but after “a couple months in” they will get a “better sense of when he’s coming back.”

The Capitals selected left-wing Ivan Miroshnichenko with their first-round pick (#20 overall) Thursday night in Montreal. The eighteen-year-old played for Omskie Krylia in the VHL (Russia) last season. Miroshnichenko was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in March. He completed his treatment in Germany and has been cleared to resume training.

“We had the medical reports from his doctors. We had our doctors examine it, and worked with our trainer. We asked a lot of questions. [We] got a certain level of comfort from where he’s at and where he’s come from. There’s still some risk left in it, but we felt the upside was worth the risk taking there.”

They are working to get Miroshnichenko into the team’s development camp, which kicks off next week at Medstar Capitals Iceplex.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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8 Responses to Capitals’ GM Brian MacLellan: “We Got Free Agency Coming Up…We’ll Be Involved In All The Discussions About Goalies”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Mac is gonna be very, very busy next week.

  2. steven says:

    One name for goalie: Mikko Koskinen. A fellow russian who might help get Sammys head straight and at 33 a 2 or 3 year contract is all that is needed. As for 2C a lot depends on Backy, if her retires then you go after one long term maybe Forsberg and he could play C or wing. If you are looking or thinking to go for it all then pick up Strome as your 2C and Forsberg can play wing. For the D why not DeKeyser or Chiarot or Kulak. I would love to go all in on Foresburg. ovie the 1st line and Foreberg on the 2nd would be a potent 1-2 punch and mopves TJ to the 3rd line to add scoring to all 3 lines.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I had a similar thought, Stevrn. How about a send IRussian) goaltending coach, one that can effectively communicate with Sammy. He still needs a translator for interviews, which is concerning being it his 4th year in the US.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mikko Koskinen is Finnish and both his first and last names are extremely Finnish.

        • steven says:

          Not to be nasty but in todays world you cant tell where a player is from by his name. So with a name like anonymous I presume that you from a Moose! So we will not be standing and clapping for your usless knowledge of names. NOw If you want to talk about a name how about you get one rather than title your self someone without a name!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Get to work, Mac! One past push.

  4. Lance says:

    I expect to see Sammy in another uniform this year.

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