Capitals Sign Stanley Cup Champion Kuemper To Five-Year, $26.25 Million Contract

Photo: Sporting News

The Washington Capitals announced on Wednesday that they have signed unrestricted free agent goaltender and 2022 Stanley Cup Champion Darcy Kuemper to a five-year contract that carries a $5.25 million cap hit after the open market opened at 12 noon ET.

“Darcy is an established starting netminder who proved that he can win on the game’s biggest stage, and we are excited to welcome him to Washington,” said GM Brian MacLellan. “We feel this signing will provide our team confidence and stability in net.”

The team was in need of a goaltender after Ilya Samsonov, who finished the regular season 23-12-5 with an .896 save percentage, a 3.02 goals-against average, and three shutouts despite an 11-1-1 start where he posted a .916 save percentage, a 2.42 goals-against average through December 9, and Vitek Vanecek both could not run with the starting job after picking it up at numerous points last season. Vanecek was traded to the New Jersey Devils on Friday morning so the Capitals could sign Kuemper. Samsonov signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday after not receiving a qualifying offer.

The 32-year-old went 37-12-4 (tied for fourth in the NHL in wins), a .921 save percentage (fifth), a 2.54 goals-against average (11th), and five shutouts (tied for fourth) with the Colorado Avalanche in the regular season. At five-on-five, Kuemper earned a .928 save percentage, a 2.26 goals-against average, a 4.33 goals-saved above average, and a .863 high-danger save percentage. He also finished with an .879 save percentage and a 2.32 goals-saved above average on the penalty kill. Kuemper posted at least a .920 save percentage and a 2.56 goals-against at most in each of the last five seasons.

During the Avalanche’s run to the Stanley Cup this past Spring, Kuemper went 10-4 with a .902 save percentage, a 2.57 goals-against average, and one shutout.

In 299 career regular-season games with the Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings, and Arizona Coyotes, Kuemper has gone 143-95-36 with a .918 save percentage, 2.48 goals-against average, and 25 shutouts. The best season of his career came in 2019-20, when he posted personal-bests with a .928 save percentage and a 2.22 goals-against average with the Coyotes. Kuemper also went 16-11-2 and had two shutouts that season.

In 34 career postseason outings, Kuemper has earned a 17-10 record with a .908 save percentage, 2.72 goals-against average, and two shutouts.

It was reported after the Avalanche acquired goaltender Alexander Georgiev from the New York Rangers on Thursday that Kuemper would not return to the Mile High City.

After signing Kuemper, the Capitals have $6,278,334 left in cap space.

Kuemper will face the Avalanche for the first time as a member of the Capitals on November 19 at Capital One Arena. He will return to Ball Arena on January 24.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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14 Responses to Capitals Sign Stanley Cup Champion Kuemper To Five-Year, $26.25 Million Contract

  1. Lance says:

    Welcome to the Caps family, Darcy Kuemper!

  2. Lance says:

    Perfectly reasonable contract. A top 10 NHL goalie.

    Now let’s get him some defensive help.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Keep going Mac!

  4. Leopluridan says:

    sorry to see vitek and sammy leave but… for 1 have high hopes for kuemper. #ALLCAPS

  5. novafyre says:

    I think a bit high but that is the goalie market this year — seller’s market. So Sammy got a one year deal for $1.8 million. What is Vitek getting with the Devils?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Agree. A tad high but market is 💩

      • novafyre says:

        Do we know officially know what Cops’ status is for next year? Do we really know that he won’t be returning? If Caps/Bears/Rays goalies are going to duke it out for the Caps second slot as well as the rest, seems to me that there is a place for him. If he is wanting it.

  6. GR+in+430 says:

    I just hope he doesn’t forget how to hold on to his stick, since losing your stick appears to be part of the technique Scott Murray teaches…

    And $5.25M for a legit starting tender is not bad in this NHL era…

    • DC Scappeli says:

      😁 I dunno how Scott Murray has a job. Nothing personal against him, but the record speaks for itself—the duo didn’t really develop into starters, despite him knowing and working with them in Hershey before he was promoted. Even Holts began his decline under Murray.

  7. steven says:

    I adnit I thought he was going to cost more but happy it didnt. Can live with 5 years and hope that the guysin Hershey are reay and can work under him and then maybe with his as the backup for a year or 2.

  8. DC Scappeli says:

    Ok, BMac making some moves to clean up the goalie situation. He painted himself into the corner with some bloated contracts—I’m guessing there is more to come.

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