WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Following their fourth straight first round playoff exit, the Capitals are preparing for Thursday’s NHL draft.
On Wednesday, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan addressed the team’s goalie situation and Nicklas Backstrom’s status for next season.
At the beginning of the offseason, MacLellan said figuring out the goalie situation is the offseason’s first priority.
During the season, Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek split time between the pipes. Both are restricted free agents this offseason. MacLellan said Wednesday that the team is extending qualifying offers to both goalies and that anything is on the table for the position.
“They’re both [restricted free agents], we’ll go through the RFA process,” MacLellan said. “We’ll explore all opportunities as we would with any other position on the team and make decisions as we go here.”
The Caps have the 20th overall pick in the draft, and who they draft or whether they consider trading the pick, could be impacted by star center Nicklas Backstrom’s health.
Backstrom had hip surgery in June and could face a long recovery, but MacLellan says the star plans to be back next season.
“The anticipation is Nick is coming back at some point so it’s not that you can use that space,” MacLellan said. “We’re going to look to fill it from within first and then go from there after that.”