Ilya Samsonov set to become free agent after Capitals don’t issue qualifying offer

Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov (30). (Nick Wass/AP)

The Washington Capitals continued to rework their tandem in net by not issuing a qualifying offer to Ilya Samsonov, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent.

The move comes after the Capitals traded goalie Vitek Vanecek to the Devils last week.

Samsonov, 25, made 44 appearances for the Capitals last season, including 39 starts, and struggled with a .896 save percentage despite posting a 23-12-5 record. He was originally a first-round pick by the Capitals in 2015 and has been a regular in the team’s net for three seasons.

Samsonov’s qualifying offer would have been for $2 million.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has reported that the Capitals are expected to heavily pursue goalie Darcy Kuemper — who will not be returning to the Colorado Avalanche — in free agency.

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