Thursday: Copley has cleared waivers and will be assigned to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. The other two have also cleared.
Wednesday: The Washington Capitals have seemingly decided to make the switch to Ilya Samsonov as their backup goaltender. Pheonix Copley has been placed on waivers, along with New York Islanders forward Scott Eansor and Carolina Hurricanes forward Max McCormick. Eansor recently announced he would be retiring from professional hockey, meaning this placement will probably precede a mutual contract termination.
Copley, 27, was just signed to a three-year $3.3MM extension in February, though that was at least in part due to the upcoming expansion draft. The backup goaltender played in 27 games with the Capitals last season and recorded a 16-7-3 record with a .905 save percentage, but is a little too pricey for the team right now with his $1.1MM cap hit. Samsonov, who carries just a $925K cap hit on his entry-level deal, is one of the top goaltending prospects in the world and should get his first taste of NHL action this weekend.
The 22-year old Samsonov dominated the KHL for three straight seasons between 2015-18, but struggled somewhat in his first season in North America. Posting an .898 save percentage for the Hershey Bears, he showed some inconsistency even behind a strong group. Despite those disappointing stats, he still possesses all the potential in the world and could push for a starting role at some point in the future. Seeing exactly what they have will be important to the Capitals, who have starter Braden Holtby approaching unrestricted free agency and in line for a huge raise on the open market.