Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic wrote a piece today that highlighted the nine forwards he believes would fit what the Washington Capitals are looking for this offseason. El-Bashir begins the piece by shining a light on the salary cap crunch that will leave the Capitals with around $5MM in cap space this summer. That leaves Washington with precious little space to work with, however El-Bashir quickly points out that Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha are both trade options that are finding their names on a lot of trade boards.
El-Bashir feels that Washington won’t target players over 30 given their age and Washington’s precarious cap situation. He lists Tyler Bertuzzi, Connor Brown, Andreas Athanasiou, Ivan Barbashev, Michael Bunting, J.T. Compher, Max Domi, Pierre Engvall, and Evan Rodrigues as the likely targets for Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan. Washington has an extensive group of forwards signed to contracts for next season but have a glaring hole on the right wing. Given the cost and the need I would likely put current Capitals forward Connor Brown near the top of the list. Brown was acquired from the Ottawa Senators for a second round pick last summer but only dressed in four games before suffering a season ending ACL injury in his right knee.
In other afternoon notes:
- Jesse Granger of The Athletic is reporting that Brett Howden of the Vegas Golden Knights was on the ice for the team’s morning skate ahead of their game 4 matchup against the Dallas Stars. Granger reported yesterday that the 25-year-old center had tweaked a lower body injury in game 2 and tried to play through it but couldn’t. Howden missed game 3 and given that he’s seen a lot of time in Vegas’ top-6 as of late, his return would be a welcome boost if he can dress tonight. Howden had a pedestrian regular season with 13 points in 54 games, however in these playoffs he has three goals and three assists in 14 games. Vegas has a chance to sweep Dallas this evening.
- Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star wrote an opinion piece today about why former Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving checks so many of the boxes that Brendan Shanahan and the Toronto Maple Leafs would be looking to tick. McGran highlights Treliving’s experience in Calgary working in a collaborative environment with former president of hockey ops Brian Burke. Toronto’s future general manager would be tied to Shanahan as well as the board of MLSE, it is a job that is different from some other NHL clubs, however Treliving has worked within a similar structure. McGran also cites Treliving’s penchant for having the guts to make bold moves, Treliving spent last summer overhauling the Calgary Flames out of necessity by trading Matthew Tkachuk to Florida for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar as well as signing Nazem Kadri as a free agent.