Capitals GM: I 'assume' Holtby will go to free agency
Patrick McDermott / National Hockey League / Getty

It's looking more and more likely that the Washington Capitals will have a new starting goaltender for the 2020-21 season.

"I would assume (Braden Holtby) goes to free agency and we will keep in contact with him throughout the free-agency period to see if he is getting what he wants," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said Tuesday, according to The Washington Post's Samantha Pell.

MacLellan added that the goalie market "is probably a little unusually deep this year," according to NHL.com's Tom Gulitti.

The 30-year-old - who's coming off a five-year, $30.5-million deal that he signed in 2015 - has been Washington's starting goaltender since the 2012-13 season. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2016 and helped backstop the Capitals to a Stanley Cup victory in 2018.

Holtby struggled for the majority of the 2019-20 campaign while splitting starts with Ilya Samsonov. The Canadian posted a career-worst .897 save percentage but still managed to go 25-14-6. Meanwhile, Samsonov, 23, emerged as a legitimate No. 1 goalie after posting a .913 save percentage and a 2.55 goals-against average in 26 games during his rookie season.

The free-agent goalie market is expected to be filled with talent this offseason. Robin Lehner, Jacob Markstrom, Anton Khudobin, Cam Talbot, Corey Crawford, Thomas Greiss, and Holtby are all expected to be available.

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Capitals GM: I 'assume' Holtby will go to free agency
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