Rumors of Ilya Samsonov going to Montreal: Capitals GM throws fuel on the fire

Jeff Drouin
May 16, 2022  (1:52 PM)

Since we learned that Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes spoke with Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan earlier this season about a potential trade involving promising goaltender Ilya Samsonov, this story has been getting a lot of press in Montreal.

Well, yesterday, as part of the Caps' post-season wrap-up, the goaltending issue was quickly addressed and MacLellan made a big statement.
He confirmed to reporters on hand that this will be the organization's number one priority and that the first big move of the summer, for Washington, will be to address the situation in front of their net.
Our first "offseason decision" will be about our goalies. - Caps GM

Their duo of Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov has been a question mark, and they'll fix that this summer.
Brian MacLellan has always been 100% transparent. He would like to keep one of the two youngsters (Samsonov or Vanecek) and bring in a veteran to complete the duo. He was notably very aggressive at the trade deadline in trying to acquire Marc-Andre Fleury.
In his season review, GM MacLellan threw gasoline on the fire:
"I think they've been inconsistent (our goalies). I don't think that's why we lost the series...during the year they had their ups and downs, which is normal for inexperienced goalies. They were both pretty good, but not great." - Brian MacLellan

As reported by our colleagues at Marker.com, the Capitals GM admits he may move to settle the matter:
"We'll explore our options. I think there are a couple of guys (goalies), I don't know how deep the free agent market is. We're going to talk to some other teams, and we're going to evaluate everything." - Brian MacLellan

"Talking to other teams" as in calling Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens back about Samsonov, perhaps? You be the judge, but rarely is there so much smoke without fire.
It doesn't mean that Ilya Samsonov will be traded to Montreal, but it's safe to assume that there will be intense discussions in that sense behind the scenes.
While Kent Hughes admitted (last week) that he doesn't have a number one goalie of the future in the organization, this will certainly be a file that he will follow closely.
Remember that two months ago, Marc Denis released information that surprised many people: the Habs have studied the option of acquiring goalie Ilya Samsonov
To be continued! We are talking about a very promising goalie, with the potential to become an Andrei Vasilevskiy or an Igor Shesterkin, but for that, he must mature.
One thing is certain, the talent is there. For more details:
MAY 16   |   398 ANSWERS
Rumors of Ilya Samsonov going to Montreal: Capitals GM throws fuel on the fire

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