Caps deciding if Braden Holtby is the future

Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby is having a nice bounce-back season and the timing is perfect given that his deal is up.

Mind you, he’s a restricted free agent July 1, not an unrestricted free agent, so there isn’t much drama at play here.

Still, the Caps have to figure out before then if he is indeed the franchise goalie they want to be married to for a long time.

That’s why contract talks have not been broached yet with Holtby’s camp. The Caps want to see more this season before they know for sure.

Holtby knows what he wants: to sign long term.

"Yes, I want some security. I love the city, I love the group here," Holtby told ESPN.com this week while the Caps were in Toronto. "It’s a great place. It’s very underrated. Not many people [in hockey] think of Washington as a great place to go when you’re from out West. But it’s phenomenal. My family loves it. I would never want to leave."

Holtby is trying not to let the contract situation play into his mind.

"I try not to think about it as much," said Holtby. "Obviously, it’s hard when it’s such a big part of our game. But you try to just focus on what we’re doing as a team. Just letting it all unfold, because honestly, I don’t know all that much about it. I trust my agent. I just focus on hockey."