Arbitrator Awards Toronto’s Ilya Samsonov One-Year, $3.55 Million Contract

A neutral arbitrator awarded Toronto Maple Leafs and former Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov a one-year, $3.55 million contract on Sunday afternoon. The club and player had a neutral arbitration hearing on Friday. The 26-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2024.

After Washington did not tender the pending restricted free agent last summer, Samsonov went 27-10-5 (tied for 11th in the NHL in wins) with a .919 save percentage (tied for sixth), 2.33 goals-against average (fifth), and four shutouts (tied for fifth) in just 42 games during his first season in Toronto.

Though, he posted an .898 save percentage and 3.13 goals-against average in nine postseason games before suffering a neck injury in Game 3 of Toronto’s five-game second-round loss to the Florida Panthers.

In 89 regular-season games over his three seasons in Washington, Samsonov went 52-22-8 with a .902 save percentage, 2.81 goals-against average, and six shutouts. He also posted a 1-6 record, .907 save percentage, and 2.98 goals-against average in eight postseason outings.

Washington drafted Samsonov 22nd overall in 2015.

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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5 Responses to Arbitrator Awards Toronto’s Ilya Samsonov One-Year, $3.55 Million Contract

  1. andrew777dc says:

    Atta boy!

  2. Prevent Defense says:

    Still feel like HC Pete Lavi ran Sammi and Vitek out of Washington. Neither one “grabbed hold” of the “Starting Goaltender’s Job” was the Standard Line. Dumping the two young guys and bringing in the two veteran goalies masked much deeper systemic defensive problems with the Caps. NovaCapsFans stat analysis last week showed a whole SEASON full of ugly “high danger chances” against the Caps, and the two veteran goalies struggled just like the young guys.

    I don’t think that GM Mac was delighted with canning his young goalies in exchange for the two vets. He was trusting the judgment of his Head Coach with all those decades of NHL experience

    • novafyre says:

      I agree. I think Lavi’s Capitals tour proved that he wanted proven vets that he could count on, not younger players that he had to teach and train. He got frustrated with both Sammy and Vee — neither one would grab the puck and skate with it when the opportunity arose to nail down the #1 spot. He simply got tired of trying to develop them.

      That said, I too was very frustrated as a fan for many of the same reasons. Sammy’s careless attitude irritated me (as Semin’s did earlier). I was happy to see him (and his salary) go elsewhere. But I would have given Vee another year.

    • andrew777dc says:

      I always felt like GM Mac was of the same opinion about both goalies, regardless of the HC… Same stereotype about clearcut #1, one mistake (or two) and you lose the spot in goal to the other goalie, and then you’re out.

  3. Prevent Defense says:

    Thank you Novafyre, for bringing up the crucial management concept of the whole NHL: ” ,,, proven vets that [Coach Lavi] could count on, not younger players that he had to teach and train.”

    This demand for “proven vets” is an archaic, impractical and unusable model for the NHL and for MLB as well. In both sports, teams simply MUST prosper with entry-level players. Economically, there is no other way. That’s why it is utterly IMPERATIVE for the successful NHL team to win with multiple baby players, or otherwise inexpensive ones. NJD did so with their roster and a patient and diligent coach Lindy Ruff. Both MLB and NHL have erected a two-tier system where baby players are affordable and older ones expensive. Plain and simple.

    Analogy, forgive me for comparing Stick-on-Ball to Stick-on-Puck sports: Yesteday the two top teams in the MLB American League battled it out for #1 and #2 in the league. At the moment, Elias’s Orioles are in the lead, and TB number two. But in the 30-team MLB, BAL is 29 of 30 in salary, and TB is 27 of 30. Extremely stark difference! The BAL team salary is $46.2M. TB pays out $61M to its players, and their “rebuilding phase” was over ten years ago. Number One is NYM at $252.9M. Yet BAL leads its division, TB is an outstanding second, and NYM have a losing record with fans bringing nooses to the game to hang their Manager and GM.

    MLB has 162 games to perform On-the-Job-Training for young players. Every team does it. NHL teams only have 82 games, but they do it too, every one of them, to some extent. The fixed $83M salary max makes it impossible for any team to insist on all veterans, all reliable, all the time. Welcome Aboard, Spenser Carbery! Win or Lose, at least you GET IT about player age and salary in the NHL.

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