The Washington Capitals have acquired goalie Vitek Vanecek from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a 2023 second-round pick.
Say what you want about the Capitals, but they definitely are not the losers in this deal. They are able to re-acquire Vanecek, the goalie who was their starter for stretches with Ilya Samsonov injured. Vanecek makes about $716k for this year before becoming a restricted free agent. Prior reports indicated that it would have taken a lot more than a second-round pick to direct the Kraken to take some other player. But they essentially do that here by getting their pick back. Vanecek is a young goalie who can be a solid backup to Samsonov.
Vanecek, 25, debuted in 2020-21, posting a .908 save percentage with a 2.69 GAA and two shutouts in 37 games.
The Kraken had everything given to them as an expansion team but GM Ron Francis has completely fumbled the bag. This is not the most extreme example but it is certainly an example. This trade on its own is fine, especially after the team sign Philipp Grubauer in free agency. However, another option for the Kraken to select from Washington was defenseman Brenden Dillon. The Caps just traded Dillon to the Jets for two second-round picks. So, the Kraken lost out on a second-rounder just by not evaluating the market properly. That is inexcusable.