The Washington Capitals already moved several pieces off the roster and essentially waved the white flag on this season. One reason why is the status of John Carlson, who hasn’t played since taking a slapshot to the head on December 23. Today, general manager Brian MacLellan revealed to reporters, including Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press, that Carlson won’t be able to think about returning until late March.
The Capitals have just six games in April before the playoffs are set to begin, meaning Carlson likely isn’t going to play a significant role for the rest of this season. That may be the biggest reason why the group has struggled, given how important he is at both ends of the rink. While not considered an elite defensive player, he is critical for Washington’s breakouts and plays more than 23 minutes every night when healthy. Hopefully, healthy describes next season, when he’ll try to get Washington back to the postseason.
- We know what the future considerations are in the New York Rangers-Vancouver Canucks trade from earlier today. While the Rangers got Wyatt Kalynuk in the NHL portion of the deal, the Abbotsford Canucks landed Zach Giuttari separately. Players on minor league contracts can’t be included in NHL transactions, so they had to be two different trades. The 26-year-old defenseman has ten points in 43 games this season for Hartford.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to activate Matt Murray ahead of tomorrow night’s game, and start him against the Vancouver Canucks. The team left themselves just enough room to bring the injured goaltender back from long-term injured reserve and sign prospect Matthew Knies at the end of his college season—should he decide to turn pro. Murray hasn’t played since January 17, and has a .911 save percentge on the year.