NHL Caps sign G Darcy Kuemper to 5-year, $26.5M pact

The Washington Capitals signed Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Darcy Kuemper to a five-year, $26.25 million contract on Wednesday.

The deal announced by general manager Brian MacLellan runs through the 2026-27 season and carries an average annual value of $5.25 million.

“Darcy is an established starting netminder who proved that he can win on the game’s biggest stage, and we are excited to welcome him to Washington,” MacLellan said in a news release. “We feel this signing will provide our team confidence and stability in net.”

Kuemper, 32, was 37-12-4 with five shutouts, a .921 save percentage and a 2.54 goals-against average in 57 starts during the 2021-22 regular season. In the playoffs, he was 10-4 with a .902 save percentage and 2.57 GAA.

In 299 career NHL games with the Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings, Arizona Coyotes and Colorado, Kuemper is 143-95-36 with 25 shutouts, a 2.48 GAA and .918 save percentage.

The Capitals traded Vitek Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils last week and did not make a qualifying offer to fellow netminder Ilya Samsonov on Monday. They combined to start 78 of Washington’s 82 games last season.

Samsonov signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

Washington added a backup for Kuemper on Wednesday by signing Charlie Lindgren to a three-year, $3.3 million contract.

Lindgren, 28, was 5-0-0 with a 1.22 GAA and .958 save percentage with the St. Louis Blues last season. He played the previous five seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, compiling a 10-12-2 record.

The Avalanche meanwhile appear set to defend their championship next season with Pavel Francouz between the pipes. The 32-year-old signed a two-year extension in March.

Francouz was 15-5-1 with two shutouts, a 2.55 GAA and .916 save percentage in 21 games (18 starts) last season. He was 6-0 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 2.81 GAA and .906 save percentage.

The Capitals also signed veteran defenseman Erik Gustafsson to a one-year, $800,000 contract.

Gustafsson, 30, had 18 points (three goals, 15 assists) in 59 games with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2021-22. He has 149 points (32 goals, 117 assists) in 309 games with the Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers and Canadiens.

–Field Level Media

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