The Washington Capitals have not had the start to their season that they likely had in mind. Despite entering the season with the intention of being a serious contender, a 10-12-4 record to start the year has left the Capitals with more questions than answers. Washington GM Brian MacLellan spoke to the media yesterday to issue updates on the state of his team, and as part of that availability, he spoke on the possibility completing a significant trade in order to jump-start a climb in the standings.
As relayed by The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir, MacLellan said that the presence of Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom on long-term injured reserve makes the possibility of a major deal highly unlikely. (subscription link) To use his exact words, MacLellan said:
To help our team you would have to add a high-end guy, top-six guy but they are $5 million, $6 million. You can’t add that player while you are bringing two guys back from LTI.
Some other notes regarding the Capitals:
- As part of his comments to the media, MacLellan also issued updates on several injured Capitals players. MacLellan said that Backstrom was “progressing well,” but that there is no firm timeline on a return. He also said that the team will have a “better idea” on Wilson’s return by mid-December, and said that while Dmitry Orlov’s injury has “lingered on a lot longer than anyone anticipated,” he is nonetheless “headed in a positive direction.” For the Capitals to have any hope of Stanley Cup contention, getting Wilson, Orlov, and perhaps even Backstrom back onto the ice will be extremely important.
- When the Capitals drafted dynamic Russian forward Ivan Miroshnichenko in the first round of the 2022 draft, some saw it as a risky move due to the uncertainty related to the forward’s recovery from Hodgkin Lymphoma. But thankfully all signs have been that Miroshinchenko’s recovery process has gone well, and today he took an important next step on his path to the NHL. Miroshnichenko made his KHL debut today, and while MacLellan did say that the forward is likely still “a few years” away from the NHL, this remains an undoubtedly positive development for all interested in seeing Miroshnichenko thrive.