News came out of Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday that the Washington Capitals had re-signed goaltender Pheonix Copley to a two-year deal worth $1.3 million.
The deal is two-way in the first year and one-way in the second, and carries an AAV of $650,000.
In 2016-2017, Copley (who spells his freaking name P-H-E-O-N-I-X and will absolutely be the bane of my spellchecking existence from here on out) played just 16 regular season games and 9 playoff games for the AHL’s Hershey Bears. He was utterly stellar in those appearances, though, posting a 2.15 GA average and a .931 save percentage during the regular season. Those numbers improved in the playoffs to 2.13 and .933, respectively. So, you know: clutch performer, playoff stud, savior ‘twixt the pipes, and so forth.
This raises further questions about the future of Capitals back-up goalie Philipp Grubauer, who has long been identified as a potential trade piece for salary cap-strapped Washington. Grubauer, a restricted free agent this offseason, carried a cap hit of $750,000 in 2016-2017 and is due for a raise this season. In 23 appearances for the Capitals last season, Grubauer was nothing short of excellent, posting 2.05 GA and .926 SV% numbers - and that’s against big league competition.
At either rate, congratulations to Phoe-...I mean, Pheonix Copley! Enjoy that payday, young man, and maybe one day soon we might see you at Verizon Center.