The Nationwide Hockey League could be a powerful enterprise. Enjoying a child’s sport as an grownup can get you a king’s ransom, nevertheless it additionally means being handled like a commodity and having to go away your friendships on the door.
Capitals gamers face the latter as they transfer into a brand new yr. Over the course of the vacation season, basic supervisor Brian McClellan pressed the eject button and dumped the younger goalkeeper’s battery. Ilya Samsonov And the Vitik Vanishek After two full seasons collectively. Samsonov signed with The Leafs after not making a qualifying bid by Mac whereas Vanecek was dealt to rival New Jersey. Each gamers grew up within the improvement system at Capitals and had been a duo with AHL’s Hershey Bears as nicely.
The Capitals redesigned it by signing the very best free agent goalkeeper within the free agent market, 2022 Stanley Cup champion Darcy Kuemper, and reserve Charlie Lindgren requesting a three-year deal. Whereas there may be pleasure about what these two developments may obtain, many Caps gamers had been noticeably torn over the departure of Sammy and Vitek at first of coaching camp.
“I’ll miss Sami and Vitek,” TJ O’Shea admitted. “While you not solely have goalkeepers however any teen who comes by the group, you see them undergo and also you see them develop, turning into a detailed pal, it’s exhausting to see them go. I positively want them the very best and we miss them right here.”
Certainly one of Samsonov’s closest associates within the crew was the middle of the primary line in Capitals, Evgeny Kuznetsov. The 2 hunted and performed video video games collectively. On the ice, they had been typically seen speaking to one another on the MedStar Capitals Iceplex Coaching Enviornment. Cozy, who stayed house within the capital over the summer time, admitted that he spent a part of the holiday with Sami.
“I have never mentioned goodbye but,” mentioned Kuznetsov. “I used to be with him so much this summer time. And I want him all the very best. As a pal, you all the time need him to achieve success. I hope issues go nicely with him and he performs nicely. Robust atmosphere (in Toronto) to be round. Up to now they appear to have good guys Contained in the crew. They assist him and there aren’t many Russian talking folks there, so his English might be higher.”
The Capitals’ second sport of the common season is available in Toronto towards the Maple Leafs of Samsonov. “I’m very enthusiastic about that second match. It can begin, consider me,” Kuznetsov joked.
Samsonov spoke to the media in Toronto on Thursday for greater than 5 minutes with out the help of an interpreter. The Russian internet coach mentioned he had obtained a number of multi-year presents from different groups, however thought signing a one-year cope with “the very best group within the league” was a no brainer.
“I simply bear in mind how one can play towards Levs,” Samsonov mentioned. “I am going to the bench after the primary half all three video games. Everybody is aware of that that is the very best crew. The perfect crew to attain lots of objectives.”
Samsonov will type alongside veteran Matt Murray this season who got here from the Ottawa Senators. Murray, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, has struggled with damage and has solely made 45 video games within the final two seasons collectively.
“Matt and I are each going to have a while,” Samsonov mentioned. “It’s a actually nice alternative for me. He’s a pleasant man. We’ll attempt to push collectively. We’ll wish to win with this crew.”
Samsonov admitted that he was stunned that Capitals didn’t provide him a contract over the summer time, however “I perceive that it is simply enterprise.”
A number of hundred miles to the southeast, Vitek Vanecek took to the ice together with his new Devils teammates at RWJBarnabas Well being Hockey Home. Vanecek will battle MacKenzie Blackwood for a place to begin because the Devils try the playoffs for the primary time since 2018. Vanecek married over the vacation season and attended the marriage, capitals defender Martin Fehervary. The commerce occurred the day earlier than the occasion.
Good day, Vitek! 🤌 pic.twitter.com/FAKTVNeQTd
New Jersey Devils (NJDevils) September 21 2022
“It was actually powerful,” Vanecek mentioned of the timing of the commerce. “I used to be making an attempt to have the marriage after which I used to be doing stuff. They most likely referred to as me at 3pm and I used to be making an attempt to determine the whole lot for the marriage after which I used to be simply calling. My spouse requested me who it was? I mentioned it was a GM and I traded and he or she understands that is why I did not do something for the occasion The marriage and he or she does the whole lot on her personal. ”
Vanecek should endure the identical anxious state of affairs he confronted in Washington, with whoever performs greatest between him and Blackwood will get the majority of the beginning. “It pressured us a bit of bit as a result of each sport has to play nicely,” he mentioned.
However VV was excited in regards to the alternative and having room to develop into the very best model of himself.
“I used to be pleased,” Vanecek mentioned. “I do know New Jersey is a younger crew. They’ve a future, you already know? It’s very nice. I hope we are able to go a great distance and get to the Stanley Cup with New Jersey. Younger crew, younger legs. We’ll do the whole lot for it.”
The Capitals didn’t win a playoff sequence whereas Samsonov and Vanecek had been on the crew. Samsonov completed with the worst profession financial savings at 896 final season and completed 107th within the league in above-expected saved objectives (-12.1) per puck cash. Vanecek did not do significantly better, ending the season with a financial savings ratio of 0.908 and ending up 84th within the GSAE (-5.4). The duo didn’t work with the hats.
However that does not imply the farewell wasn’t painful. Each rangers, throughout their time in Washington, sparked off their expertise and confirmed that they might sooner or later be world class in the event that they developed totally. Samsonov and Vaneshk had been additionally good teammates and preferred by different gamers.
“Yearly some new guys are available and alter the whole lot that occurs,” Alex Ovechkin mentioned. “That is hockey enterprise. You make a friendship and it is exhausting to see your mates and good gamers go away, however we the gamers, it is less than us.”