Washington Capitals Goalie Leaves North America After Ten Years to Sign in the KHL

Published June 5, 2023 at 10:27
Despite the fact that he's still taking part in the AHL playoffs, journeyman goaltender Zach Fucale has apparently already made his decision on where he's playing next season. Alexei Volkov, General Manager of the KHL's Traktor Chelyabinsk, told a deal with Fucale is already in place.

"He's a Skilled Goalie"

"We negotiated with the Canadian goalie. He's playing in the AHL conference finals right now. We wait until his season is over and then we can officially announce the signing. But it's not such a big mystery anymore: we're talking about Zach Fucale. He's a skilled goalie who has been considering continuing his career in the KHL for a long time. Here he wants to find new motivation for himself, to raise his level of play. As soon as he finishes playing for Hershey, and we get permission from Washington to announce an agreement before July 1, when his contract expires, we will make an official announcement." - Alexei Volkov

Fucale is technically under contract with the Washington Capitals, but spent all of the 2022-23 regular season in the AHL with the Hershey Bears. He played 38 games, posting a 21-11-4 record with a 2.54 goals against average and a save percentage of .902. However, Fucale has played just one game for Hersey in the post season as the team awaits the winner of another series to determine who they will face in the AHL finals.

The Reasoning

While Fucale has not said why he's decided to leave the NHL system, several other older players who have left the AHL system for the KHL have cited the developmental nature of the AHL as a reason for leaving. Unlike the KHL, the AHL will sit veterans to ensure the development of younger players, even if it means the team is weaker because of it.