Earlier this off-season, the Florida Panthers inked goalie Sergei Bobrovksy to a seven-year, $70 million deal.
Now, Braden Holtby will have another comparable from another Russian goaltender, as Andrei Vasilevskiy signed an eight-year, $76 million deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Vasilevskiy has one year remaining on his three-year, $10.5 million deal.
This will be a $9.5M AAV, with almost $45M in bonuses https://t.co/imL5pN2g51— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 29, 2019
It's important to note that the bulk of this contract is tied to signing bonus money, and that Vasilevskiy has a full no-movement clause for three years, followed by a modified no-trade clause.
Andrei Vasilevskiy's contract also includes a NMC in years 2-5 and a modified NTC (10 team trade list) in that last 3 years of his new contract. https://t.co/6fZkPlhXXC— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 29, 2019
The contract also makes Vasilevskiy the third-highest paid goalie in the league by the 2020-21 season, when he would be 27 and in his prime.
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 29, 2019
This means the Capitals, who are already in cap trouble thanks to the dual signings of Christian Djoos and Chandler Stephenson, could be in for more headaches.
Holtby's five-year, $30.5 million contract is up next season. This is further complicated by Nicklas Backstrom's expiring deal, as well as the Seattle expansion draft, where the team will have to determine which players to protect.
Previously, J.J. Regan explained how Sergei Bobrovsky has the better comparable to what Holtby could receive in the future.
In terms of comparisons to Vasilevskiy, here is where Holtby stands in the regular season.
Holtby: 2.47 GAA, .918 save percentage, 35 shutouts, one Vezina Trophy
Vasilevskiy: 2.55 GAA, .919 save percentage, 18 shutouts, one Vezina Trophy
While these numbers look similar, the playoffs are where the two diverge.
Holtby: 48-41 record, 2.09 GAA, .928 save percentage, seven shutouts, one Stanley Cup
Vasilevskiy: 15-15 record, 2.83 GAA, .912 save percentage, no shutouts
It should be noted that Vasilevskiy is entering his prime, while Holtby will be 30 by the time his current contract expires. Vasilevskiy's payday is for future performance during his prime years.
A new Holtby contract would be thanking him for his past performances and as HockeyGraphs has plotted, a goalies decline starts to become noticeable by age 30.
If Holtby is an outlier after age 30, a contract similar to those given to Vasilevskiy and Bobrovsky will look like a steal, especially if the salary cap continues to grow.
Is this a risk the Capitals are willing to take? We'll know more by the end of next season.
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