The Washington Capitals filed for arbitration with Restricted Free Agent (RFA) goaltender Braden Holtby but the two sides settled on a five year, $30.5M ($6.1M AAV) before the neutral arbitrator was able to make a decision. This contract makes Holtby the seventh highest paid goaltender in the league. Some contract comparables for the 25 year old goaltender include Cam Ward ($6.3M), Corey Crawford ($6.0M), Cory Schneider ($6.0M), Ben Bishop ($5.95M), and Semyon Varlamov ($5.9M). Holtby’s $6.1M cap hit is over 8.5% of this season’s $71.4M salary cap and a lot to spend on a goaltender as their year to year performance is the least consistent of any position. However, advanced statistics show Holtby was well worth this contract and should maintain a high level of play for years to come.
A few weeks ago, the Dallas Stars acquired star forward Patrick Sharp from the Chicago Blackhawks along with defensive prospect Stephen Johns in exchange for defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt. Sharp was the latest salary cap casualty for the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks after parting ways with restricted free agent (RFA) forward Brandon Saad earlier this offseason. In this deal, Dallas acquires a talented winger that has reached the 30 goal plateau four times in his career. In Daley, the Chicago Blackhawks acquire an average defenseman known for his offensive abilities.
Both Sharp and Daley had a disappointing season last year as Sharp’s production was down and Daley was a liability in his defensive zone. Both players should benefit from a new setting and we should see them rebound with their new team.