With the March 21st trade deadline approaching, and the Washington Capitals currently in the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, the organization is looking at different trade deadline scenarios. The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir shared his thoughts on the team’s deadline approach (subscription required). Perhaps most notably, the Capitals could look for an upgrade at the goaltender position, as the team is currently running a tandem of Vitek Vanecek and the struggling Ilya Samsonov. While Vanecek has impressed as of late, El-Bashir mentions the desire for the Capitals to add a veteran goaltender who would be a “significant or legitimate” upgrade over their current goaltenders.
Also mentioned was the Capitals’ possible desire to add a forward. While an addition such as Filip Forsberg or Claude Giroux has not been ruled out, it is unlikely. El-Bashir suggests Seattle forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Marcus Johansson as potential options for depth scoring. Both players are unrestricted free agents after this season, Jarnkrok carrying a $2MM cap hit and Johansson a $1.5MM cap hit. In addition to those two, the Capitals could also call on the Detroit Red Wings’ Vladislav Namestnikov, as well as New York Islanders’ forwards Cal Clutterbuck and Zach Parise. While none of these players would bring the excitement of a Giroux or a Forsberg, they can certainly provide the low-cost, depth scoring the Capitals need.
- Last night on Hockey Night in Canada, SportsNet’s Jeff Marek added a new name to the list of trade deadline candidates: Max Comtois. The young forward has struggled to stay in the lineup this year, and has struggled when he is in the lineup. Comtois has just six points in 31 games this season, missing time with a hand injury and COVID-19 earlier in the year, and has been scratched lately as well. It certainly has been a turn this year for Comtois, after leading the Ducks with 33 points in 55 games last season.
- Also on Hockey Night in Canada yesterday, SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman touched on several notable pending UFAs, including Forsberg, Johnny Gaudreau, Tomas Hertl, and Hampus Lindholm. Friedman mentions that their teams are pushing hard to extend them prior to the trade deadline, and of course before the free agency period. While the Calgary Flames are quite unlikely to try and move Gaudreau, with the team poised to make a playoff run, rumors about Forsberg, Hertl and Lindholm continue to swirl, especially with San Jose and Anaheim on the outside of the playoff picture. Nashville on the other hand, is in a tricky position, as they currently sit in a playoff spot, but holding on to a major trade chip in Forsberg. Friedman also adds that while the contract talks have really heated up on Hertl and Lindholm, word around Forsberg and Gaudreau is notably quiet.