NHL Rumors: Washington Capitals – Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby

Tom Gulitti of NHL.com: Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan has said he plans on having preliminary contract extension talks with both Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby in early September.

The Capitals don’t have a Backstrom replacement in their organization. The Caps do have Ilya Samsonov as the future No. 1 goaltender. The question is how far away is the 22-year old?

The Capitals will need to move out some salary as they are currently over the ceiling. MacLellan hasn’t ruled out going with 21 man roster to start the season. A trade is more likely though.

“I think we’ll probably have to move someone,” MacLellan said. “Injuries and all the stuff that happens in training camp and exhibition season probably dictates it a little bit, but we’re going to be patient. We’re not in a rush. We’ll wait and let it play itself out.”

NHL.com: Braden Holtby doesn’t really want to play anywhere other than in Washington.

“This is all I know here,” Holtby told NBC Sports Washington on Wednesday. “I’d love . I think that’s pretty clear. But you don’t worry about that stuff. I’m lucky enough to be here for at least right now so happy for that.”

Capitals GM MacLellan will meet with Holtby and Nicklas Backstrom and let them know what they are thinking.

 “I’ve checked in with both,” MacLellan said. “It might happen the beginning of September, depending on the timing of me getting back. But it will happen right away (after he returns). We’ve got to talk and give both players what we’re thinking, get their feelings on the situation and play it out from there.”

The Caps will have to weigh Holtby’s contract demands and how Ilya Samsonov’s development goes.

“Obviously contract demands and what we feel we can handle in that position (are factors),” MacLellan said. “And Samsonov has to continue to develop and become the goalie we think he could be.”

Holtby said he’s not worried about his contract and will let the business side of things take care of themselves.

J.J. Regan of NBC Sports: Holtby plans on handling his pending free agent status different than how Sergei Bobrovsky did this past year.

“We try and keep tabs with what’s going on around the league,” Holtby said of Bobrovsky. “I’d like to handle it a little different throughout the year to try and just focus on our team and not let it be a media thing.”

Holtby will try to not have it be a distraction for him and the team.