Lundqvist to Caps, goalie carousel spins in NHL free agency

Henrik Lundqvist joins a team he tormented for years in the playoffs, Braden Holtby leaves the franchise he led to the Stanley Cup, Jacob Markstrom has been given a lot of money to take part in the Battle of Alberta, and Anton Khudobin ultimately stays at home.
The goalkeeper carousel spun wildly when the NHL Free Agency opened on Friday.
Lundqvist will continue his trophy pursuit with the Washington Capitals after signing a $ 1.5 million one-year deal with one of the New York Rangers' best rivals. The 38-year-old Swede was bought out by the New York Rangers after 15 seasons and will now play with Alex Ovechkin and help Washington win everything again.
"The capitals, they checked every box," said Lundqvist. '' A team that knows how to win, a great team of coaches and the opportunity to play some games were the main factors for me. But there are so many things that go into this decision for me, starting with a chance to win. I think the most important thing at this point in my career is: I want to have the chance to win. ''
The long-standing face of the Rangers will share the duties on the net with the 23-year-old goalkeeper of the future, Ilya Samsonov. Washington added Lundqvist to replace the 2016 Vezina Trophy and 2018 Stanley Cup winner Braden Holtby, who signed a $ 8.6 million two-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks.
Holtby had to cut his salary, but in a flooded goalkeeping market, the 30-year-old is happy to be a good fit for Vancouver.
"When it came down to it, you realized there were a lot of really good goalkeepers out there and we were all showing up at the same time," said Holtby, who could be counted towards the salary cap for the next two seasons and $ 4.3 million could be a top option for the Seattle Kraken to be in the 2021 expansion draft as Vancouver has Thatcher Demko. '' It was a lot of uncertainty, but really grateful that that is now in the past and that it worked perfectly. ''
Things went really perfectly for Markstrom, who left the Canucks to sign a six-year $ 36 million deal with the Calgary Flames. It was the richest free agent deal, signed by mid Friday afternoon, with an annual cap hit just under the two-time cup winner Matt Murray got after his deal in Ottawa for $ 6.25 million.
Another goalkeeper, who almost led his team to the cup, is staying. Khudobin, yelling "We're not going home!" In the Dallas Stars' dressing room after winning the Western Conference, signed three years and $ 10 million for residency.
The 34-year-old goalkeeper achieved an NHL high of 0.930 percent in the regular season and brought the ailing stars to the cup final in the Edmonton bubble with 0.917 and 2.69 goals against average playoffs.
Dallas returned to Khudobin after testing the market in the open. He will continue to play with Ben Bishop.
"Our goalkeeper was as good as anyone else in the league," said GM Jim Nill. '' We have had a lot of success. They play for each other. We're fortunate to have two # 1 goalkeepers. ''
In another goalkeeping move, Cam Talbot left the Flames to sign a three-year $ 11 million deal with the Minnesota Wild. Minnesota traded former starter Devan Dubnyk for San Jose earlier this week.
On Friday, Thomas Greiss, Craig Anderson, Jimmy Howard and two-time cup winner Corey Crawford are the best goalkeepers out there.
Lundqvist did not last long as a free agent. The veteran of the 887 NHL regular season and 130 playoff games in his career is still trying to win the trophy for the first time. He stopped Sweden with an Olympic gold medal in 2006 and a silver medal in 2014 and won the Vezina as the league's best goalkeeper in 2012.
He brought the Rangers to the cup final in 2014, a rare year in which he did not face the capitals in the playoffs. After losing series to them in 2009 and 2011, Lundqvist eliminated the capital cities three times: in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
While Washington won everything with Holtby in 2018, Lundqvist witnessed a Rangers rebuilding by shooting a three-goal carousel with Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev. He hadn't played in the playoffs since 2017 until two games in the qualifying round of the extended playoffs with 24 teams took place last summer.
When I got back that summer, I thought, "If so, let's enjoy it," said Lundqvist, who learned months ago from President John Davidson that the Rangers were planning to move on. `` I've had so long to prepare for it. I agreed and grateful. When you feel gratitude for something, it gives you a lot in return. I was happy and felt this gratitude to the Rangers. And again it made it easier for me to take that next step. ''
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AP Hockey writers Larry Lage and John Wawrow and freelance writer Denis Gorman contributed to this.
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