Home Miami jersey Goalies on the move: Kuemper to Capitals, Campbell to Oilers

Goalies on the move: Kuemper to Capitals, Campbell to Oilers

0

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper acknowledges fans during a rally outside the City/County Building for the NHL Hockey Champions, after a parade Thursday, June 30, 2022, in Denver.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper acknowledges fans during a rally outside the City/County Building for the NHL Hockey Champions, after a parade Thursday, June 30, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PA

The NHL’s goaltending reshuffle continued its momentum in Wednesday’s free agency opener, with the Washington Capitals signing a Stanley Cup champion to stabilize the position and the Edmonton Oilers trying to make likewise.

The Capitals signed Darcy Kuemper to a five-year, $26.25 million deal less than three weeks after backing Colorado to their first title since 2001. Kuemper, 32, will carry charge of a perennial playoff team playoffs who also signed Charlie Lindgren as a backup.

Since the end of the Cup Final at the end of June, 19 goaltenders who played in the NHL last season have changed teams.

Kuemper knew he was leaving the Avalanche when they traded and signed Alexandar Georgiev to replace him.

“You never know where you’re going to end up,” Kuemper said. “A lot of unknowns. You can’t think about it too much because you’ll go crazy. But everything happens for a reason and it worked and ended with a great organization, a great team and super excited for it.

Edmonton has signed former Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell to a five-year, $25 million deal. Campbell is yet to win a playoff but put up impressive numbers in the first round last year and will now be counted on to try and help Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl win a championship after Mike Smith been inconsistent in goal for the Oilers this postseason.

“Obviously it’s such an important position (when you’re trying) to win,” Edmonton general manager Ken Holland said. “Certainly probably as much movement this year as there has been in a long, long time.”

Now that they hadn’t won the Cup in four years, the Capitals took steps to enter the goaltending market, completely remaking their situation in net, as promised by general manager Brian MacLellan. They traded Vitek Vanecek to New Jersey, let Ilya Samsonov leave rather than label him a restricted free agent, and added Lindgren to a three-year deal worth $3.3 million.

Samsonov, once considered a top prospect, has signed a budget contract with the Maple Leafs: $1.8 million for next season, about half of what the Capitals expected the Russian to of 25 obtains in arbitration.

Toronto associates Samsonov with Matt Murray, acquired from Ottawa a few days earlier. The Senators added Cam Talbot in a trade with Minnesota after the Wild re-signed Marc-André Fleury.

Murray will count slightly less against the cap in Toronto than Campbell in Edmonton. Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said the difference was the two years left on Murray’s contract compared to Campbell who wanted five.

Edmonton was more than happy to oblige on that front, especially since Smith is not expected to play next season due to injury.

“(Campbell) looks to me from afar as a guy (who) gets better all the time,” Holland said. “He is competitive. It is comfortable. And I think he’s 30, and from a goalkeeper’s point of view, that’s a good age. I think that with Stu Skinner, we will have a good tandem.

St. Louis now has 2019 Cup winner Jordan Binnington and Thomas Greiss in tandem. Greiss signed a $1.25 million contract for next season to replace Husso, who the Blues traded to Detroit last week.

___

Follow AP Hockey writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports