The Washington Capitals’ status as a conservative seller at the deadline may have surprised fans just a few months ago. A relatively secure Wild Card position in late 2022 has since fallen by the wayside, mainly due to injuries to key players.
Their longest-term absence has been that of defenseman John Carlson, who hasn’t played since December 23 after taking a slapshot to the head in a game against the Winnipeg Jets. Head coach Peter Laviolette had some positive news to share today regarding the All-Star defenseman, who joined Capitals practice today wearing a non-contact jersey. While Washington won’t be making a playoff run this year, barring a miracle, a return to health is positive news for Carlson after such a scary injury. The 33-year-old is under contract until 2026 and had 21 points in 30 games this year before exiting the lineup.
- The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun today speculated on the future of goalie John Gibson with the Anaheim Ducks, whose name has begun to creep into trade speculation over the past months. LeBrun noted that some teams still view the netminder as a difference-maker, especially with the 29-year-old posting a string of elite performances lately. After this season, Gibson still has four years remaining on a contract carrying a $6.4MM cap hit. A move to a contender, especially as Gibson has partial trade protection, likely hinges on the Ducks retaining some salary.
- According to a Twitter announcement, Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman was fined $4,594.59 today by the NHL Department of Player Safety for slashing Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson. The figure is the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Hartman received a minor penalty on the play, which occurred in the middle of the first period of last night’s 1-0 shootout loss to the Flames.