September 21, 2019

Reports: Capitals’ Braden Holtby asking for $8 million in arbitration filing

Washington Capitals restricted free agent goaltender Braden Holtby has asked for $8 million in his arbitration filing, according to Tim Wharnsby of Reuters.

Holtby was a key piece to the Capitals’ playoff run last year, when they came one goal short of their first Eastern Conference Final appearance since 1998. The team is offering $5.1 million, and according to the Post’s Alex Prewitt, the Caps also are looking for a bridge deal of just one year, which would leave him as a restricted free agent again next summer.

Holtby had a career-high nine shutouts in the 2014-15 regular season, and a brilliant .944 save percentage along with a 1.71 goals-against-average in the postseason.

A few months back, the folks at RMNB wrote a piece detailing how much he’s worth, and ultimately came to the conclusion that Holtby is worth the cap hit he would eventually ask for. By comparison, the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist is the only NHL netminder with a cap hit more than what Holtby wants, at $8.5 million. Two-time Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Quick’s contract with Los Angeles is worth $5.8 million in annual average value.

This likely is just a negotiation tactic for Holtby, who wanted around $6.5 million early in the negotiation process. Had he asked for that amount in his filing, he would have gotten a number between that and the Caps’ offer of $5 million or so. In asking for $8 million, he increases his chances of the arbitrator giving him what he wanted in the first place. Holtby himself commented on the issue of term in goalie contracts on breakdown day in May:

Job security is something that doesn’t come around very often in this profession, so if you can find some it’s great. If you don’t have any ties it’s a lot different. But with family you’d like to stay and get to know the community and get involved. So the longer term the better. But at the same time, I expect if it’s a one-year deal I want to earn it for the next year. If it’s longer term I want to earn every single year of it. I’m just happy to be here and happy to be a part moving forward.

Holtby’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning in Toronto. As of this writing, his agent has not responded to an email request for comment

About Eric Hobeck

Eric Hobeck is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Capitals. Eric contributes to high school sports coverage at InsideNova.com. He served as sports editor of The Rotunda at Longwood University for two years, where he was also the men’s basketball beat writer. He hosted a campus radio show for three years and called basketball and baseball games for the station’s award-winning sports team. You can follow Eric on Twitter @eric_hobeck.

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