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Capitals Re-Sign Braden Holtby

The Caps and Holtby have avoided an arbitration ruling and gone straight to a five-year contract extension.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Per the Caps, Braden Holtby has agreed to a five-year, $30.5 million contract extension - a nick-of-time deal that heads off a potential arbitration ruling just under 36 hours after sitting through the hearing. The deal will keep Holtby as the franchise goaltender through at least the 2019-20 season, and steers clear of that $8 million price tag his camp asked for ahead of arbitration.

Who would've thunk it.

From the team:

ARLINGTON, VA. - The Washington Capitals have re-signed goaltender Braden Holtby to a five-year, $30.5 million contract extension, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

"Braden emerged as a top NHL goaltender and we are pleased to sign him to a long-term contract," said MacLellan. "We feel Braden is just entering his prime and in his young career has already established himself as one of the best goaltenders in the history of our franchise. He is an athletic goaltender with a tremendous work ethic and is a big part of our future."

Holtby set career highs in wins (41), shutouts (9), games played (73) goals-against average (2.22), save percentage (.923) and recorded a franchise-record 1,887 saves in 2014-15 and tied a franchise record in wins, shutouts and games played. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native earned his career-high 41st win of the season on April 8 against Boston, tying Olie Kolzig (1999-00) for first place on the Capitals single-season wins list. Holtby also registered his ninth shutout of the season on April 8, tying Jim Carey (1995-96) for first place on the franchise single-season shutouts list. On April 11 against Rangers, Holtby played in his 73rd game of the season, tying Kolzig (73, 1999-00) for first place on the franchise single-season games played by a goaltender list. In addition, Holtby set the franchise record for most consecutive games played by a goaltender, appearing in 27 consecutive games. Holtby is the third goaltender in franchise history to play in 70 or more games in a season. The 6'2", 208-pound goaltender finished the season ranked first in the NHL in ice time (4,247), games played (73) and saves (1,887), tied for second shutouts (9) and wins (41), fifth in goals-against average (2.22) and tied for seventh in save percentage (.923).

Holtby is the third goaltender in franchise history to reach 100 wins with the Capitals (Kolzig, Don Beaupre) and became the fastest to reach the 100-win plateau, earning the mark in 176 games. Holtby ranks tied for third among active goaltenders in fewest games needed to reach 100 career wins, trailing Jimmy Howard (171) and Antti Niemi (174). He is also the fifth-youngest (25) to reach 100 wins among active goalies, behind Carey Price, Marc-Andre Fleury, Steve Mason and Cam Ward. Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Holtby ranks second in the NHL in shutouts (17), trailing Carey Price (18).

Holtby registered one shutout, a 1.71 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage in 13 games during the 2015 playoffs, ranking first in the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage (min. 5 GP). In addition, Holtby's .944 save percentage is the fifth-highest single-postseason save percentage in NHL history (min. 10 GP). Holtby ranks first among active NHL goaltenders (min. 20 GP) in career playoff goals-against average (1.92) and save percentage (.936). He has allowed no more than one goal in 13 of his 16 career playoff wins, including each of his last 10 playoff wins dating back to Game 6 of Washington's series against the Rangers in 2012. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Holtby is the first goaltender to yield no more than one goal in each of 10 consecutive playoff victories since Tuukka Rask posted an equal streak from May 21, 2013 - April 22, 2014. During the 2012 playoffs, Holtby became just the third goaltender to own a .920 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average or better (in a minimum of 13 games played) in the playoffs at age 22 or younger (Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy). He went all 14 postseason games without suffering back-to-back losses and set a Capitals rookie record with 14 playoff games played and tied a rookie record with seven wins in a single postseason. He also became the third rookie goaltender to defeat the defending Stanley Cup champions in a playoff series (Montreal's Ken Dryden and Calgary's Mike Vernon), defeating Boston in seven games in the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Holtby was the seventh rookie goaltender to post an overtime win in Game 7 of a playoff series with his win over Boston and his 44 saves in Game 4 against Boston were the second-most in the expansion era in a regulation playoff win for a rookie goaltender since Ken Dryden made 46 stops for Montreal in a 4-2 win against Boston on April 16, 1971.

Holtby was originally drafted by Washington in the fourth round, 93rd overall, in the 2008 NHL Draft. Holtby ranks first among goaltenders drafted in 2008 in games played (178), wins (101), shutouts (20), playoff games played (34), playoff wins (16) and playoff shutouts (2).

More to come...