The Washington Capitals cleaned out their lockers after a rare non-playoff season for the team. This is just the second time the Capitals have missed the playoffs since 2008. The Alex Ovechkin era in Washington has resulted in one Stanley Cup, but is it a rarity to see the team miss the playoffs altogether. Players were understandably frustrated when talking to the media while clearing out their belongings, but some are hopeful to return long-term while others have more questionable futures with the Capitals.
T.J. Oshie is one player that will surely be back. He has two more years remaining on his contract with a $5.75MM cap hit. The 36-year-old winger scored 19 goals and 35 points in 58 games this season but was shut down late in the year and has not played a game since March 30. He was listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury but provided more context today. According to Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic, Oshie had a minor procedure on his back, but is feeling much better already and is looking forward to a regular summer of working out.
- One player whose status is more in question moving forward is Evgeny Kuznetsov. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports that Kuznetsov has indeed changed agents and they will speak to the Capitals about the Russian’s future in Washington. There have been rumors circling around Kuznetsov’s availability for two years, but the Capitals are yet to move on from their 2010 first-round pick. The 30-year-old center has two years remaining on his contract with a $7.8MM cap hit, so finding the right cap fit on the trade market will be key if they do choose to go down that route.
- Matt Weyrich of NBCS Washington reports one player who wants to remain a Capital for a long time is Tom Wilson. He is heading into the final year of his contract with a cap hit of $5.16MM but the gritty 29-year-old right winger said he does not want to play games in contract negotiations and he can’t imagine playing hockey for another team. He scored 13 goals and 22 points in 33 games this season after missing a significant amount of time with injury to begin the campaign. He is not eligible to sign an extension until July 1, but he is a name worth keeping an eye on to see if he extends as soon as possible.