Two days after Washington Capitals target=”_blank”>Washington Capitals Washington Capitals the Capitals’ season ended within the first spherical Washington Capitals for the fourth straight yr, Brian MacLellan stood on the lectern and, in traditional MacLellan fashion, did not preserve again, at least as a ways as NHL wellknown managers move whilst speaking to newshounds.
“We’re going to explore modifications,” he said. “I don’t suppose Washington Capitals some thing is off the table.”
“Anything” is pretty huge. Washington Capitals But in case you’re a Caps participant, even person who’s been in Washington for a while and has a few term left to your contract, MacLellan’s words in all likelihood got your attention.
He sounded upset. Even a touch angry. And with a middle that’s now some other yr older, he additionally gave the impression of a person who is aware of there isn’t a whole lot time left for Alex Ovechkin and Co. to make a run.
What’s MacLellan going to do? It’s unclear. But with the draft and unfastened organization set for the second and 1/3 weeks of July, respectively, we realize this a great deal: He’s got lots of time to formulate a plan.
So, as anyone (anxiously?) waits to look how it all unfolds, allow’s take our annual, 5-tier take a look at the roster and rank who we assume is staying and who might be going.
(Players within eWashington Capitals very tier are in alphabetical order)
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Defenseman John Carlson. (Danny Wild / USA Today)Tier I: The locks to live
John Carlson, defenseman: The 32-year-old’s playoff performance didn’t healthy a sturdy everyday season that noticed him set a profession excessive for dreams with 17 and end fifth in points among all Washington Capitals defensemen with seventy one. That stings. Still, it’s definitely tough to assume a situation in which the crew’s ice-time leader and change captain receives dealt. Carlson’s 15-group no-exchange listing will become a 10-crew list this summer.
Evgeny Kuznetsov, ahead: The Caps wanted a huge season from Kuznetsov, and the 30-year-antique brought, averaging a career-excessive 20 minutes, 17 seconds of ice time and producing seventy eight points, the second one-satisfactory total of his career. Like Carlson’s trade safety, Kuznetsov’s 15-crew no-exchange listing turns into a 10-group list this summer time, but it’s likely safe to mention there won’t be any rumors. With Nicklas Backstrom’s reputation unclear, there’s now not any question that No. ninety two is the crew’s No. 1 middle.
Martin Washington Capitals Fehervary, defenseman: The swift-skating Slovak, who’s currently representing his country at the IIHF World Championship, loved a breakout rookie season. The 22-yr-antique led all first-12 months defensemen in dreams (8) and hits (251). He become also sixth in blocked shots (117) and 8th in ice time (19:39). Next season he’ll enter the very last year of his access-stage contract, which averages $791,667, making him the most important bargain on the roster.
T.J. Oshie, ahead: It become a difficult everyday season for the 35-12 months-vintage winger, who was constrained to 44 games because of injury and contamination. But his team-leading six desires inside the playoffs underscored his fee for an enterprise that fancies itself as a contender. Age and nagging injuries are getting a problem; MacLellan stated that “put on and tear” is beginning to catch up with some of the group’s older Washington Capitals stars. That stated, it’s difficult to understate Oshie’s importance on and stale the ice, especially with fellow right wing Tom Wilson’s repute uncertain. Oshie also has a ten-team no-change listing.
Dmitry Orlov, defenseman: The 30-12 months-old enjoyed a very robust season in which he registered profession highs in dreams (12) and points (35) even as skating 20:58 in keeping with recreation, the second-maximum total on the crew in the back of Carlson’s 23:forty nine. Orlov will be counted $5.1 million towards the cap next season earlier than becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Alex Ovechkin, ahead: The 36-12 months-old Caps captain scored 50 desires for the ninth time, and the ninety factors he accrued marked his highest output seeing that he recorded 109 in 2009-10, his age 24 season. Ovechkin now sits 0.33 on the Washington Capitals all-time desires list with Washington Capitals 780, with handiest Gordie Howe (801 dreams), whom he’ll possibly bypass subsequent season, and Wayne Gretzky (894 desires) beforehand of him. So, duh.
Tom Wilson, forward: The 28-year-old energy ahead had a profession yr in desires (24) and factors (fifty two) and, just as critical, stayed out of the NHL Department of Player Safety’s crosshairs. Then his 0.33 shift of Game 1 vs. Florida happened, and now, in his words, his “summer season sucks.” Indeed, it figures to be hard. Although he declined to expose the character and severity of the knee harm he suffered even as trying to make successful, the harm is considerable. More figures to be known quickly; the team typically pronounces when a participant undergoes surgery and offers a timeline for their return. That timeline, of path, should effect MacLellan’s plans. Wilson has a seven-team no-alternate list.
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Forward Nic Dowd. (Sam Navarro / USA Today)Tier 2: The semi-locks to live
Nic Dowd, forward: Although the fourth-line center changed into restrained to sixty four video games because of injury and COVID-19, he maintains to improve in his early 30s. This season, he produced a career-excessive 24 factors (10 goals, 14 assists). He’ll see his income nearly double next season as the three-yr, $3.nine million extension ($1.three million cap hit) he signed in November kicks in.
Nick Jensen, defenseman: Although he become a key a part of the blue line that, in MacLellan’s estimation, “wasn’t as top” inside the playoffs because the everyday season, Jensen had a robust season typical. In truth, the 31-yr-antique installed career highs in dreams (5), points (21) and plus-minus (plus-32). He’s entering the very last yr of a crew-friendly deal that averages $2.five million in keeping with.
Trevor van Riemsdyk, defenseman: A versatile third pair defenseman who, on maximum nights, outperforms his $950,000 cap hit. Players like TvR are important for pinnacle-heavy teams just like the Caps.
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Forward Garnet Hathaway. (James Guillory / USA Today)Tier 3: Let’s hear what you’ve were given
Garnet Hathaway, ahead: The 30-yr-old winger notched a profession-excessive 14 desires and 26 factors this season. He’s additionally a key piece of teach Peter Laviolette’s maximum-depended on line, can pass up within the lineup in a pinch and is a ache to play against. And with a year remaining on his contract at $1.five million, he affords correct value, too. But, like maximum fourth-liners, he’s usually in jeopardy of being changed by using a younger, less-pricey participant.
Anthony Mantha, ahead: The 27-12 months-old, who ignored most of the regular season after undergoing shoulder surgical procedure in November, can dominate games, like his two-purpose, two-help overall performance before pals and own family in Montreal on April 16 and his 10-hit performance in Game 1 of this year’s playoffs. But there are also stretches in which the 6-foot-5, 234-pound winger is lots less important. As frustrating as that inconsistency may be at times, groups will always be intrigued via Mantha’s length and upside.