The NHL confirmed on Wednesday night what Washington and the rest of the hockey world already knew: Braden Holtby was the best goaltender in the NHL in 2015-16.
After matching Marty Brodeur’s single-season NHL record with 48 wins. Holtby won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender, beating out Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings.
“Holtby has put a lot of work in,” Caps general manager Brian MacLellan said. “He keeps developing and keeps getting better.
“It’s nice to see him get rewarded. He had a great season. All the work he’s done with Mitch (Korn) and all the things he learned before that has made him a more confident goalie and he’s getting rewarded for it here this week.”
Holtby, 26, went 48-9-7 during the regular season with a 2.20 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. He also led all goaltenders in playoff goals against average (1.72) and save percentage (.942).
In his acceptabce speech, Holtby thanked all of his goaltending coaches, including Arturs Irbe, Olie Kolzig, Dave Prior and Mitch Korn, along with John Stevenson, who has helped mentor him throughout his career.
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Defenseman Madison Bowey re-signed with the Capitals on Thursday, inking a two-year extension that will carry an average of $1 million.
Bowey carried a cap charge of $703,333 last season.
The 23-year-old appeared in 51 games for the Caps in 2017-18, amassing 12 assists, 24 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of minus-3.
Bowey also suited up in nine contests for AHL Hershey, though he finished the season as one of the Black Aces during Washington's run to the Stanley Cup.
With Bowey back in the fold, the Caps now have six of seven defenseman from last season’s roster under contract. (Veteran Brooks Orpik remains an unrestricted free agent.)
Bowey had an uneven first year in the NHL—he didn’t play following the late-February addition of Michal Kempny—but the Caps expect that the 6-2, 198-pound right-shot blue liner will become reliable full-time player with more seasoning.
Bowey’s deal leaves Tom Wilson as the Caps' only remaining unsigned restricted free agent. The sides are in discussions on a multi-year extension.
Including Bowey’s extension, the Caps have roughly $7.3 million in salary cap space remaining, according to www.capfriendly.com.
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In the present, the Capitals are the Stanley Cup champions. But what does the future hold?
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Who stood out at development camp? How will Pheonix Copley look as backup? Which Hershey prospects could push for a spot in the NHL? All that and more on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast.
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