There have been three philosophies for NHL teams in the salary-cap era when it comes to managing money allocated to goaltenders -- spend a lot on an elite guy, go young or go cheap.
After a pair of surprising moves this past weekend, the Washington Capitals
might have forged a unique path -- they are going cheap in net but without sacrificing experience or talent. The Capitals likely are going to spend less money (and salary-cap space) on goaltenders than any other team in the NHL during the 2011-12 season, while possibly creating one of the League's most formidable tandems as well.
Washington added veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun
at a bargain rate of $1.5 million for one season, one day after dealing away Semyon Varlamov
to Colorado for first- and second-round draft picks. Vokoun will team with 23-year-old Michal Neuvirth
, who played every minute of the team's nine games in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs and nudged ahead of Varlamov in the duo's battle for the job since being drafted together in 2006.