Vitek Vanecek is headed to the Pacific Northwest. The former Washington Capitals goaltender was snagged by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, bringing his extremely promising, one-year tenure in the nation’s capital to an end.
Vanecek rose through the ranks of the AHL and eventually became the Caps’ starting goalie, and with his departure, the 25-year-old took a moment to thank his former club.
“Thank you @capitals for everything what you have done for me in last 6 years. Thank you to amazing fans, it was pleasure to get chance to play here. I’ve made memories and friends and I already miss this city,” he posted on Instagram Thursday.
Some of VV’s former teammates also took to social media to bid him farewell. Forward Tom Wilson expressed his gratitude for Vanecek’s time in D.C. in another Instagram post:
Defenseman Michal Kempny, who shares his Czech nationality with Vanecek, also took to the ‘Gram:
Forward Daniel Sprong shared the ice with Vanecek both with the Hershey Bears in 2019-20 and in the pros with Washington this past season. Check out his testimony:
D-man Martin Fehervary suited up for just six games in Washington the year before last, but was also Vanecek’s protector while in Hershey for a season.
Vanecek wore Capitals red for 37 games in his sole season in the swamp, but quickly became a dependable netminder and a fan favorite. He was Washington’s starter for most of the season and in the playoffs, where several times it seemed like he was the only reason the Capitals were able to stay in certain games. He posted a .908 save percentage and 2.69 GAA in 2020-21.