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Capitals decline to make a qualifying offer to goalie Ilya Samsonov

May 11, 2022; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov (30) warms up prior to game five of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Capitals did not make a qualifying offer to Ilya Samsonov on Monday, a surprising move that left Washington without a goalie on its NHL roster.

The decision makes Samsonov an unrestricted free agent and comes three days after the team traded goalie Vitek Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils.

Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan told reporters last week that the team would qualify Samsonov.

Washington now figures to be a major player in the NHL’s offseason goalie carousel. Samsonov and Vanecek combined to start 78 of the 82 games last season.

Samsonov, the organization’s 2015 first-round draft pick, went 23-12-5 last season with an .896 save percentage and a 3.02 goals-against average.

In three years in Washington, he went 52-22-8 with six shutouts, a .902 save percentage and a 2.81 GAA.

The Caps extended qualifying offers to two of their organizational prospects, forward Damien Riat and defenseman Tobias Geisser.

–Field Level Media