The Washington Times - June 16, 2011, 09:52PM

The Capitals chose Thursday to make a lot of news on the goaltending front. First, they hired back Dave Prior to be goaltending coach and then made the splash of naming Olie Kolzig his assistant.

They weren’t done. The Caps inked minor league goalie Dany Sabourin to a contract, a team spokesman confirmed.


The deal, which was first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, is for one year and worth $525,000 in the NHL and $125,000 in the AHL. Sabourin is guaranteed to make $150,000 by the end of the year, however.

Serving as Braden Holtby’s backup, Sabourin went 14-9 with a 2.45 goals-against average and .908 save percentage this past season with the Hershey Bears.

It’s unknown if this move has anything to do with the status of restricted free agent goalie Semyon Varlamov, who reportedly was interested in going to Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. If Varlamov departs, Holtby would likely move up to the NHL level, making for a bigger role for Sabourin.

General manager George McPhee declined to talk about any of Washington’s impending free agents Thursday on a teleconference with reporters.

The day after the season ended, McPhee had some strong words about Varlamov to the KHL.

“If he wants to go to the KHL, let him go,” McPhee said. “This is the best league in the world and most players want to play here. I don’t pay any attention to that stuff with any of the European players. If they want to go to Europe to play, go back to play. If that’s what they do, then you’ve got the wrong guy.”

Friday at 5 p.m. is the deadline for teams to elect arbitration with restricted free agents. McPhee wouldn’t say if he would give Varlamov or any RFA a qualifying offer.