Trade Talk: Who Could The Capitals Move In The Off-Season?


Picture: SI

After a 3rd consecutive first-round playoff exit, Washington Capitals Common Supervisor Brian MacLellan mentioned he was open to buying and selling any participant that will make the crew higher, except for captain Alex Ovechkin and heart Nicklas Backstrom. With the 2021 NHL Enlargement Draft looming on July 17, groups carried out for the season have already been discussing trades.

Quite a bit has modified prior to now couple months for the reason that commerce deadline on account of offers made, the upcoming growth draft, the flat wage cap for 5 extra seasons, and one other disappointing spring run. For this put up we check out doable commerce items for the Capitals and place every participant at present on the Capitals’ roster into commerce tiers.

Staying Put

Alex Ovechkin (RW) – The 35-year-old can grow to be an unrestricted free agent on July 28 however there isn’t any cause to consider he is not going to re-sign. Ovechkin led the Capitals in targets (24) and recorded 42 factors in 45 video games this previous season. The crew can’t think about the Nice Eight breaking Wayne Gretzky’s NHL-record 894 profession targets in one other uniform (Ovechkin will enter subsequent season 164 targets behind the all-time mark).

Nicklas Backstrom (C) – The 33-year-old simply wrapped up the primary season of a five-year extension and led the crew in assists (38) and factors (53) in 55 video games. Because the franchise’s all-time help chief and Ovechkin’s wingman, Backstrom will retire as a Capital.

Very Doubtless Staying 

John Carlson (RHD) – MacLellan mentioned that anybody apart from Ovechkin and Backstrom is up for dialogue however it’s extremely unlikely that he’ll transfer the 31-year-old. Carlson’s manufacturing this previous season of 10 targets and 44 factors in 52 video games didn’t replicate his from a season in the past when he was the runner-up for the Norris Trophy however he improved defensively.

T.J. Oshie (RW) – After rumors have linked the 34-year-old to the Seattle Kraken on account of his roots (from Everett, Washington), MacLellan said that he doesn’t wish to let Oshie go after a 22-goal, 43-point output in 53 video games this season. He has recorded a minimum of 18 targets and 47 factors in every of his six seasons in Washington and reveals no indicators of slowing down.

Anthony Mantha (LW) – Contemplating that the Capitals gave up so much to accumulate the 26-year-old and that Mantha is the youngest ahead within the crew’s top-six ahead group, it might be a shock to see him go. After a four-goal, five-point run throughout a four-game goal-scoring streak firstly of his tenure in Washington, Mantha’s manufacturing dipped to 3 assists in 10 video games however not for the shortage of enjoying stage or possibilities.

Tom Wilson (RW) – The 27-year-old’s manufacturing additionally dropped after coming back from a seven-game suspension however he completed the season with 13 targets and 33 factors in 47 video games. Wilson is anticipated to be the Capitals’ subsequent captain after Ovechkin hangs up his skates and he is among the greatest energy forwards within the sport together with his capability to alter the momentum together with his manufacturing and physicality.

Martin Fehervary (LHD) – With Zdeno Chara not anticipated to be re-signed and MacLellan expressing the need to insert youthful gamers into the lineup, the 21-year-old is anticipated to be on the NHL roster full-time. Fehervary recorded three targets, 17 factors, and a +10 ranking in 24 video games with the AHL’s Hershey Bears this season.

Ilya Samsonov (G) – In his first season because the Capitals’ No. 1 goalie, the 24-year-old performed effectively for almost all of it when wholesome however was inconsistent as he went 13-4-1 with a .902 save proportion, a 2.69 goals-against common, and two shutouts. Samsonov is anticipated to be the franchise’s goalie for the longer term.

Dmitry Orlov (LHD) – The 29-year-old turned in one in every of his greatest seasons with the Capitals as he posted eight targets, 22 factors, and a team-leading +16 ranking whereas averaging 19:49, together with 42 seconds on the ability play and 36 seconds on the penalty kill, in 51 video games. Orlov was admirable defensively with a 52.02% Corsi-for proportion, a 51.96% anticipated goals-for proportion, and a 52.14% scoring chances-for proportion at five-on-five this season. He’ll doubtless keep however with him taking a big chunk of the wage cap ($5.1 million), it might be not inconceivable for the Capitals to contemplate their choices with him.

Staying Except A Good Supply Is Made

Conor Sheary (LW) – The 29-year-old was one of many crew’s most constant goal-scorers this season when he recorded 14 targets and 22 factors in 53 video games. Contemplating the Capitals simply prolonged Sheary and he has among the best worth contracts on the crew at $1.5 million for the following two seasons, he’ll doubtless keep put except the Capitals get the correct supply.

Daniel Sprong (RW) – The 24-year-old’s 13 targets had been tied for fifth on the crew. He additionally got here near averaging half a point-per-game (20 in 42) regardless of being out and in of the lineup. His 20 factors set a career-high whereas his 13 targets had been one wanting his career-best set in 47 video games in 2018-19 with the Anaheim Geese. Sprong’s 1.59 goals-per-60 minutes this season was tied for thirteenth greatest within the NHL. On condition that he was one of many crew’s most constant aim scorers and on a really team-friendly deal, Sprong isn’t anticipated to go. Nonetheless, he has been traded twice in lower than three years.

Nic Dowd (C) – The 31-year-old excelled this season whereas centering the Capitals’ shut-down line. Dowd had his greatest offensive season as effectively with 11 targets and 15 factors. He is not going to doubtless stroll out the door however with him coming into the ultimate season of his contract, the Capitals could possibly be open to listening if somebody had been to inquire about him.

Garnet Hathaway (RW) – The 29-year-old completed the season with six targets and 18 factors in 56 video games and performs an important position on the crew’s shut-down line. Hathaway got here only one level shy of his career-high in factors in 20 fewer video games than when he had his private greatest with the Calgary Flames in 2018-19. As one of many crew’s greatest defensive forwards, Hathaway isn’t anticipated to go wherever.

Trevor Van Riemsdyk (RHD) – The 29-year-old simply signed a two-year contract extension in March however solely performed in 20 video games with the Capitals. With three right-handed defensemen above him on the depth chart and Van Riemsdyk doubtless in a top-six on most groups, maybe the Capitals could possibly be open to shifting him.

Nick Jensen (RHD) – The 30-year-old turned in his greatest season as a Capital, the place he tallied two targets, 14 factors, a +5 ranking. He recorded a 50.24% five-on-five Corsi-for proportion, a 53.58% five-on-five anticipated goals-for proportion, and a 52.5% five-on-five scoring chances-for proportion whereas averaging 17:18 per sport, together with 2:38 on the penalty kill in 53 video games. Nonetheless, as a bottom-pairing defensive who will flip 31 in July, the Capitals could possibly be keen to hear on Jensen.

Carl Hagelin (LW) – The 32-year-old was a part of the crew’s shut-down line and performed a vital position on a penalty kill that ranked fifth within the NHL with an 84% effectivity, the place he averaged 2:34 per sport (most amongst Capitals’ forwards). He recorded six targets, 16 factors, and a +7 ranking in 56 video games. Hagelin’s $2.75 million cap hit could possibly be considered as an excessive amount of for a fourth-liner and could possibly be thought of in a deal to clear some cap area if wanted.

Commerce Candidates

Brenden Dillon (LHD) – The 30-year-old recorded two targets, 19 factors, and a +15 ranking whereas averaging 18:57 per sport (together with 1:47 whereas shorthanded) in 56 video games. Dillon additionally completed with a 50.40% Corsi-for proportion, a 51.56% anticipated goals-for proportion, and a 51.97% anticipated goals-for proportion at five-on-five. As somebody who matches into the crew’s bodily model of play, Dillon is probably going staying however could possibly be somebody the Capitals would hear on if the return is true.

Vitek Vanecek (G) – The 25-year-old could possibly be on his manner out with the growth draft looming and Samsonov’s excessive ceiling. After he went 21-10-4 with a .908 save proportion, a 2.69 goals-against common, and two shutouts, the Capitals may look to commerce him earlier than the draft to keep away from the chance of shedding him for nothing.

Lars Eller (C) – The 32-year-old tallied eight targets and 23 factors in 44 video games however struggled to remain wholesome and is getting up there in age. With heart prospect Connor McMichael anticipated to make the bounce to the NHL full-time this or subsequent season, Eller could possibly be on the block however the return will should be vital.

Justin Schultz (RHD) – The 31-year-old completed with three targets, 27 factors, and a +12 ranking in 46 video games however his manufacturing fell off after a quick begin, he carries a excessive cap hit ($4 million), and enters the ultimate yr of his deal. Schultz struggled defensively, posting a 49.14% Corsi-for proportion, a 48.25% anticipated goals-for proportion, and a 49.25% scoring chances-for proportion at five-on-five this season. Maybe the Capitals may transfer on in the event that they discover one other top-four right-handed defenseman that they like on the commerce or free-agent market.

In Sizzling Water

Evgeny Kuznetsov (C) – It’s broadly recognized that the Capitals are pissed off with the 29-year-old after he ended up on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol twice this season, examined optimistic for cocaine final season, and has seen his manufacturing decline in every of the previous three years after main the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 32 factors. His $7.8 million cap hit for the following 4 seasons is not going to be straightforward to maneuver however parting with Kuznetsov, who completed with simply 9 targets and 29 factors in 41 regular-season video games and no factors in three Stanley Cup Playoff video games this season, could possibly be mandatory for the group.

By Harrison Brown


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