Tom Wilson gives Braden Holtby a heartfelt goodbye originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Since the news broke on Friday that Capitals free-agent goalie Braden Holtby had signed with the Vancouver Canucks, there has been an outpouring of support and reminiscences of his time in Washington.
Nationals stand-out pitcher, and likely free agent, Sean Doolittle gave Holtby a Twitter shout out to thank him for all he accomplished during his time with the Capitals.
The Capitals posted a touching video tribute that didn’t leave a dry eye in the house.
Now one of Holtby’s long-time teammates has weighed in — and Caps fans should prepare to feel heartbroken all over again.
Tom Wilson, who played with Holtby for the last eight years, created a photo slideshow of memories the two shared – winning the Stanley Cup in 2018, vacationing together and attending Caps events.
“So many memories come to mind when I think back over the last 8 years. From day one at my first training camp, to vacations and a Stanley Cup together. A great teammate and an ever better friend, you will be missed in DC @Holts170,” Wilson wrote on Twitter.
After getting selected in the first round of the 2012 draft, Wilson first joined the Caps for three games during the 2013 playoffs. By that point, Holtby had won a Stanley Cup playoff series in 2012 and taken over the starting goalie position from Semyon Varlamov during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.
It’s clear from Wilson’s tweet that Holtby made a big impression on the rookie from day one at their first training camp together. The teammates and their families forged a tight bond through the ups and downs of regular-season success followed by playoff disappointment for many years until finally winning the Stanley Cup in 2018.
Holtby’s wife, Brandi, was apparently very moved by the touching slideshow from “Mr. Tom.”
Holtby has been the Caps’ starting goalie ever since Wilson joined the team, and it sounds like he will feel the loss both personally and professionally. That’s the business side of pro sports. Now he’ll have to get used to playing in front of Ilya Samsonov and newly acquired veteran Henrik Lundqvist. But the friendships and memories endure.