Capitals issue qualifying offer to goalie Ilya Samsonov

Caps issue qualifying offer to goalie Ilya Samsonov originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Capitals issued qualifying offers to goalie Ilya Samsonov and minor-league defenseman Lucas Johansen on Monday, thus retaining their rights as restricted free agents. The moves were announced by Mike Vogel. Monday was the NHL’s deadline to issue qualifying offers and Samsonov and Johansen were the team’s only RFAs.

In the NHL, teams still retain the rights of a restricted free agent even after free agency begins so long as the player has been issued a qualifying offer. A qualifying offer is based on a player’s previous salary. It is non-binding and a player must still sign it if he intends to play under it. In most situations, players do not sign qualifying offers and continue negotiating with the team to come up with a new contract.

On Saturday, Washington general manager Brian MacLellan indicated to reporters that a bridge deal, meaning a shorter-term contract, was “most likely” for Samsonov.

“Given the season he had last year, a little inconsistency there, I think that probably works for both parties,” MacLellan said. “I think he recognizes or his representatives recognize that there’s upside there. We recognize there’s upside there. So that probably makes more sense for both parties.”

Samsonov, 24, is expected to be the team’s No. 1 goalie next season, though MacLellan stressed the role would not be handed to him.

“I think he has to earn it, too,” MacLellan said. “I think that’s up to him. He has the potential to be a No. 1 and I think he has to show it.”

Samsonov is arbitration-eligible which could greatly complicate things for the Caps given their tight cap situation. They will almost certainly reach an agreement before that point so as to avoid the uncertainty of arbitration.

Johansen, 23, was the Caps’ first-round draft pick in 2016. He has yet to reach the NHL and has spent the last four seasons with AHL Hershey.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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