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With Grubauer Deal, Caps Likely Have Other Plans

July 6th, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals announced on Thursday that they had re-signed 25 year-old German goaltender Philipp Grubauer to a one-year, $1.5 million deal that will ostensibly keep the backup goalie in Washington for another season.

The move is a good one in terms of pure hockey sense. Along with 2015-2016 Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby, Grubauer helped the Washington Capitals win the 2016-2017 William Jennings Trophy as the best goaltending tandem (in terms of goals against) in the NHL.

In 24 appearances (a significant amount for a non-starter), Grubauer was nothing short of astronomically stellar. In fact, he out-performed Vezina runner-up Holtby in save percentage (.926), even strength save percentage (.937), powerplay save percentage (.883), quality start percentage (.684), and win percentage (.684). Those numbers were some of the best in the league among any goalie strapping on the pads at least twenty times: his save percentage and even strength save percentage were 4th in the NHL, and his powerplay save percentage was 14th. (Stats courtesy of Hockey Reference.)

But with the salary cap tightening around the Capitals like a belt after a greasy fast food meal, Grubauer was rightly assumed to be a valuable trading chip for a Washington team that desperately needed to shave dollars somewhere. Many assumed the Vegas Golden Knights would claim Grubauer in the expansion draft, but they obviously had other ideas (*cough, Nate Schmidt, cough*).

Instead, the Capitals chose to re-…

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Tags: Grubauer was nothing short of astronomically stellar., Hockey-Reference, July 6, 2017

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