Carl Hagelin played an important role for Washington down the stretch, picking up 11 points in just 20 games after being acquired in a midseason trade from Los Angeles. He saw an uptick in playing time during the postseason as well, logging over 16 minutes a night in their first-round loss to Carolina. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the pending unrestricted free agent told reporters, including NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti (Twitter link) that he’d like to remain with the team for next season.
For that to happen though, he’ll need to take a significant pay cut. Hagelin has received an average of $4MM per season over the past four years and that’s an amount that the Capitals simply cannot afford under their salary structure. Thanks to salary retention from the Kings and Penguins, Washington only paid Hagelin $1.875MM and the 30-year-old may need to sign for closer to that amount if he wants to stay with the Caps.
More from Washington:
- Defenseman Brooks Orpik isn’t likely to return next season, notes Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post. He was limited to 53 games in 2018-19 and logged a career-low 15:40 per night. While he could still play a third pairing role for them, Washington has some youngsters in the system that could benefit from the open roster spot. Khurshudyan also speculates that the acquisition of Nick Jensen near the trade deadline may have been with an eye of trying to move out veteran blueliner Matt Niskanen this summer to free up some cap space. However, Jensen didn’t have as much of an impact after joining the team which could affect that potential decision.
- The team has laid out a specific set of requirements for winger Devante Smith-Pelly to meet before they consider re-signing him this summer, notes NBC Sports Washington’s JJ Regan (Twitter link). He was benched during the preseason for what has been speculated to be conditioning-related issues while he wound up clearing waivers in advance of the trade deadline. However, when T.J. Oshie was injured, Smith-Pelly was recalled and inserted in the lineup, suggesting that the team still believes he can play a role for them.